March 23, 2009 - When toxic topsoil was found in the Watson Park neighborhood — the result of decades of burning and dumping garbage — San Jose officials quickly offered to clean up the mess. Then grateful residents agreed.
But after the work was done, residents learned that the clean up came with strings. The city told them it would compensate them only up to $27,000 for any loss of property value, that they must disclose the hazard to any future homebuyer, and homeowners would be liable for any illness related to the toxins.
Additionally, though the toxins were found 13 feet deep, the city only removed 3 to 5 feet of topsoil.
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