Whirlpool Park property owners speaking out about toxic sludge - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Whirlpool Park property owners speaking out about toxic sludge

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We have a follow up on the Clyde Childhood Cancer Cluster.

As we first told you yesterday, attorneys for Whirlpool Corporation and the family that now owns the old Whirlpool Park will meet next week.

Both sides are working to reach an agreement for more testing at the site where the EPA discovered high levels of PCB's and other toxic chemicals.

13 ABC's Christine Long is in Green Springs with more of her exclusive TV interview with a Whirlpool executive. Plus, for the first time we're hearing from the current owners.

The owners are a father-son duo. The son Jonathan Abdoo bought the old park from Whirlpool Corporation four years ago planning to build his dream home.

What was supposed to be a simple real estate transaction has turned into a battle with the largest employer in the area to make sure the site gets cleaned up to residential standards. Abdoo's attorney says anything less would be inappropriate.

His attorney says Abdoo doesn't have unlimited money to do the toxic clean up himself so he has a moral obligation to stay involved and not sell back to Whirlpool.

The Abdoos thought they were getting a clean property when they bought the old Whirlpool Park in Green Springs back in 2008 to build a family home.

Now they're scared that site could be the common link as to why so many kids in the area are getting sick.

"When he discovered that there was contamination on his property, he said, oh my gosh I hope this is was not connected to the Clyde Cancer Cluster. But then as we thought about it more, in some ways we almost hope that it is because if it is the cause then it can maybe be taken care of and no one else gets hurt," says Tom Bowlus, attorney for the current property owners.

Whirlpool bought the property back in 1953.

Jeff Noel, Corporate Vice President for Whirlpool, says the company hired several independent contractors back then to build the new fields, bleachers, basketball and tennis courts, and upgrade the pool.

"All of our records show that we never put any type of contaminants or items found on that particular piece of ground," says Noel.

Before allowing the company back on the site to do testing, the Abdoos want Whirlpool to commit to clean it to residential standards, which are higher than commercial-industrial.

"Different uses of the property need different levels of protectiveness as far as the clean-up standards go," says Bowlus.

But so far it appears Whirlpool is not committing to residential.

"If there were items that were placed on that site during our ownership even if they weren't placed there by us, we're going to clean it up. We're going to pay for the clean up, we're going to do it according to industry standards," says Noel.

Both sides sit down next week to try to hammer out an agreement.

"We're optimistic we'll get an agreement coming out of that meeting to get access to the property," says Noel.

"If they're not going to commit to cleaning it up to the appropriate level, then that's going to be a deal killer for us," says Bowlus.

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