COVINA : Park Cleared of Soil Contamination to Open

Edna Park will be open to sneakers, cleats and bare toes this Saturday, after having nothing but construction boots on its soil for months.

The 1.3-acre park was closed in December, 1993, after Southern California Gas Co. discovered cancer-causing residue left behind from a gas plant that occupied the site 81 years ago.

The residue, called "lampblack" and created when oil and coal are turned into gas, was found in 6,000 tons of the park's soil. The contaminated soil was removed and burned, while Edna Park was replenished with clean soil.

Lampblack was found buried throughout the park beneath grass and a clean layer of soil. Richard Varenchik, an EPA spokesman, said there have been no reports of illness caused by the dangerous soot. "We removed it to be on the safe side," he said.

By March, Edna Park had new soil and a team of residents planting grass and flowers on the site.

After speeches at 11:20 a.m., there will be a free picnic.

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