Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and health and environmental officials said this afternoon there is no "imminent health crisis" posed by the high levels of arsenic found in Fort Reno Park.
Joined at a news conference by several city health officials, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, the mayor tried to assure residents that District and federal officials were aggressively testing the soil at the park.
Fort Reno was closed indefinitely Wednesday after the soil samples detected high levels of arsenic. But officials said today those samples may represent hot spots and not the entire grounds.
"We started testing this morning," Fenty said. "Testing will go all through the night and as soon as we have the results of the test we will give those to the public. It's too early to say what the risk is, if any, to anyone."
It will take 24 or 48 hours to complete the testing and get the information to the public, officials said.
Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) also attended the news conference.
"Hopefully by the show of force here, by the resources we've put into this just in the last 24 hours, we've demonstrated to the entire city that we're taking this seriously," Fenty continued. "And until we have complete clearance, we're going to be making sure the residents of this city and the residents of this region are safe."