Living next to any construction project can be inconvenient and cause annoyances. When the work being performed involves environmental remediation, however, there may also be health concerns. For some Lake Worth Beach community members, recent remediation efforts at a former golf course have led to concerns about a lack of oversight. Here is more on how a recent golf course conversion project is creating problems for Lake Worth Beach Residents.
The Fountains Country Club
In suburban Lake Worth Beach, residents of the Fountains Country Club community have raised concerns about a developer’s oversight of a recent golf course conversion project. The issue—dust blowing into the areas where condominium residents live. At first glance, it may seem somewhat harmless for dirt and dust particles to blow from a golf course area during construction. However, the problem is that these dust particles could be contaminated with the poison arsenic.
The Fountains Development Project
Developers New Jersey-based Ridgewood Real Estate Partners are preparing the shuttered Fountains golf course for residential construction. Before construction can occur on what was once golf fairways, the builder must remediate the soil to reduce its existing arsenic content to environmentally safe levels. Ridgewood is expected to complete its remediation by mid to late 2021.
The Fountains remediation is challenging as it is taking place close to neighboring condos in The Fountains. In a recent article, Ridgewood President Jonathon Grebow said that the company has “met all the applicable requirements of both county and state approvals” and that “Throughout the course of the project, we have had numerous inspections, all of which have found no violations. We are also in constant contact with both the county and the state giving them continual updates and reports on the status of the project.”
According to a recent report, “[i]n a December 22 letter to Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, the state Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] found that Ridgewood was in compliance with state-approved plans but nonetheless called on the contractor to address some of the residents’ concerns.”
Fountains Residents’ Concerns
Area residents have complained that the contractor has not watered the site regularly, and the contaminated material has been transported without being covered. Additionally, windscreens on fences that were cut during Hurricane Eta and have not been repaired, leading to more dust finding its way to neighboring condos.
Jon Moore, a spokesperson for the DEP, commented that the agency recognizes the importance of community engagement when working to ensure that projects like the one in the Fountains are completed as efficiently and safely as possible. Moore also stated that the “collaborative effort” has resulted in Ridgewood agreeing to undertake “best practices” to address the issues that concern residents. He also noted that fence repairs have been completed and that “Ridgewood has agreed to cover contaminated material or ensure that the material is wet or moist when transported.” According to a recent report, Ridgewood also requires a log to track when it waters the site. Further, the company is now providing DEP with a weekly progress update to be posted on its information portal.
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