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Alviso to Undergo Further EPA Testing

ALVISO, Calif. - Federal officials will be conducting another round of tests to see if the air is finally free of asbestos particles.

Part of the town was labeled an EPA Superfund site in 1986 after air quality tests found high concentrations of asbestos particles. Officials claim that the air was cleaned by 1993 but EPA officials will be conducting a new round of tests with more sensitive equipment.

The site was deemed a Superfund site following the construction of the Alviso Ring Levee to control flooding. An investigation into the construction of the levee revealed it was largely made from serpentine rock which contained nearly 40% asbestos.

The levee was sprayed with a sealant to minimize the risk of more particles becoming airborne and has been subject to regular inspections by the city of San Jose and the EPA.

The tests will involve stirring up surface layers of dirt to see if asbestos particles are released. If tests come back negative, the site could be de-listed by the end of this year or early 2008.

Currently there are over 1,200 sites on the EPA superfund list with an additional 61 proposed additions. The term "Superfund" comes from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act which was created in 1980 to allow federal remediation of environmental disaster sites.