HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Engineering experts presented their soil testing results at Monday night’s Huntersville town board meeting and found no chemical contamination associated with ocular melanoma.
This research has been four years in the making after clusters of ocular melanoma were reported throughout Huntersville and Cornelius.
Engineers at Hart and Hickman were most recently brought in to test soil samples at four different sites including Hopewell High School, Stephens Road Nature Reserve, North Mecklenburg Park, and Huntersville Fire Station No. 3.
"Based on these results we didn't find any soil contamination so we don't have any direction to go from here,” testing engineer Dr. Matt Bramblett said.
But that’s not the answer some concerned residents hoped to hear.
"In a way, no news is good news, that there isn't a clear and obvious present danger to the people of Huntersville, but it’s frustrating that there is nothing we can move ahead on," NC Senator Natasha Marcus said.
Moving forward, the Huntersville Town Board can decided to do more soil testing at other sites and with deeper soil samples or potentially complete blood test on ocular melanoma patients in the future.
It’s continued research options like this that all come at a cost.
"I think the people of Huntersville and Cornelius who are so concerned about this need to do some private fundraising to dig into this deeper," Senator Marcus suggested.
The good news, she said, is $100,000 of state funding has already been allocated to continue ocular melanoma studies as part of the state budget, but that’s still awaiting final approval.