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Water Agency To Test For Wyle Chemicals

May 21, 2003 | THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE A water agency will be testing for contaminants near Wyle Laboratories to protect its workers. But school district officials remain unable to decide whether to test for contaminants at campuses near the top-secret testing facility or to wait for the water board to test the sites.

Starting today, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, which is installing a drinking water pipeline down Hillside Avenue between Wyle Labs and Norco High School, will test for contaminants where construction takes place. It's proper procedure for the safety of pipeline workers, Eldon Horst, executive manager of the authority, said by phone.

The authority will bore only as deep as the pipeline, testing soil and possibly water for hazardous chemicals such as trichloroethene, vinyl chloride, dichloroethene and perchlorate, all of which have been found in the groundwater at Wyle. The results are expected back in about five days, Horst said.

The Corona-Norco school board on Tuesday said it would like to see the water board expedite its plans to test groundwater in the area. Board member Carole Garlind recommended lobbying legislators and regulatory agencies, "to show that we need something done because of our possibly at-risk students."

The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board has directed Wyle to begin testing in the neighborhood to determine if harmful chemicals are flowing off the property and into people's yards.

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