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Dixie residents want properties tested for asbestos

Property owners in a North Little Rock community fear they're surrounded by the cancer-causing agent asbestos. After being denied help for months, they're moving forward to make sure their homes are safe.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - "The children don't go out there and play no more in the park, you don't see people out there eating lunch no more in the park like they used to," said Donell Flowers.

For 30 years, Flowers has called the North Little Rock neighborhood of "Dixie" his home. But ever since the Environmental Protection Agency found asbestos in the dirt at a park across the street, Flowers believes Dixie is a dangerous, and possibly deadly, place to live.

"We're the ones that lost loved ones," said Flowers. We're the ones that lost friends. We're the ones that lost members out of this community."

In February, the EPA removed the contaminated soil from Connelly park and tested 20 surrounding properties for asbestos. No new samples tested positive for the cancer-causing agent but Flowers and his neighbors aren't convinced and are now asking the EPA to test every property in Dixie.

"They only tested part of the problem. They didn't test everybody."

In a statement, EPA spokesperson Jennah Durant said, "There is no evidence to show more testing is necessary, and as of right now there is no need to sample any more dirt in the Dixie area."

"If we have to take it to a higher level, that's what we will do," said Flowers. "But I just want the EPA to know that we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to get the answers we need to bring some closure to the situation."

Flowers is also gathering support to file a class action lawsuit against the EPA for closing the investigation without testing every property. He claims this has damaged Dixie beyond repair.

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