Landfill Investigation in Kettleman City

FRESNO, Calif.

The State's Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection Agency released a draft report on those findings about a week and a half ago.

Thursday night, they are giving residents a chance to ask questions and comment on the results.

That meeting started at about 6 p.m. inside the Kettleman City School. Dozens of people were in attendance.

Earlier Thursday night, residents gathered at a nearby park to publicly criticize the lack of notice for Thursdays meeting…as well as portions of the state's 10-month investigation.

Since 2007, 11 children have been born here with birth defects.

Community members blame chemicals released from the waste management facility located just a few miles west of Kettleman City.

But, state health investigators say while they did find traces of arsenic and lead within Kettleman City, they do not believe those factors or waste management is at fault.

"We feel they didn't investigate enough, that they could have gone further. We feel biomonitoring done where they took blood and tissue samples," Maricela Mares-Alatorre said.

"We did an extremely thorough job, but we're not finished. We're here to listen to take questions, to take comments. This is a draft report," Sam Delson of the Environmental Protection Agency said.

On Monday, the state did fine waste management close to $300,000 for the improper handling of hazardous chemicals. They say however---- that is not related to the birth defects.

Meanwhile, the state will accept written comments on their report until December 21. Copies were available at Thursday night's meeting, as well as the local library and post office.

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