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WGCU Investigation, Local Expert: State DEP, Lee County Ignored Arsenic Reports

Photo: Jessica Meszaros, WGCU
High arsenic levels have been found at Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve in Lee County.

Lee County records showing dangerously high levels of arsenic on Pine Island were ignored by county and state environmental officials, an investigation by a WGCU reporter found. The levels were several times the federal limit for environmental safety.

Reporter Jessica Meszaros probed public records and interviewed experts to confirm Lee County's own measurements for arsenic on Pine Island, at the Island Acres Estates community and at the county-owned Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve, showed dangerously high levels of arsenic dating back to at least 2011.

Local hydrogeologist Greg Rawl, a member of Lee County's Conservation 20/20 committee, also joins the program to explain how he helped bring the information about arsenic levels to light.

Also on the program are formal responses from Lee County and Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to Mesazros' investigation.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
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