Test results confirm Highland chemical fears

Test results have confirmed some Highlands residents' fears that a foul odor in the area was caused by toxic chemicals.

The state Department of Environmental Protection tested the groundwater and air on Bayside Drive after complaints about the smell. The results confirmed suspicions that benzene and other chemicals found in petroleum were above the accepted standards.

Environmental officials believe the contamination was caused by an Exxon gas station on Route 36 that discontinued operation in the 80s. Exxon-Mobil has been contacted by the state and asked to conduct a full investigation. Company officials are expected to inform the state of their plans by Thursday.

Residents say they fear the health implications of the findings.

"All these chemicals are cancerous," says resident Mike Kennedy. "I've been breathing this for years and years. Am I gonna get cancer from this? Are my neighbors with children going to get cancer?"

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