A high school baseball field has been closed due to soil contamination allegedly caused by a school baseball coach.
KSL.com reports that the baseball coach at Clearfield (Utah) High School allegedly poured petroleum on parts of the field and then lit it in an attempt to dry out parts of the field prior to a game. A concerned citizen, noticing the scent of gasoline near the field, notified the Davis County Health Department of the issue two days later.
The health department did some initial testing on the field that day, according to Fox 13 of Salt Lake City.
“We went out there and used a four gas analyzer in which we took readings of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and we did not have any readings so we don’t believe there is a hazard to the people who are there watching the games but there is a hazard with contaminants contaminating the soil and percolating down,” environmental health director Rachelle Blackham told Fox 13.
Tests revealed that between 15 and 20 gallons of gasoline and diesel were poured on the field in the incident.
School district spokesperson Shauna Lund told KSL.com that the field has remained closed since those initial tests. As the cleanup effort gets underway, it’s unclear how badly the field was damaged. Depending on the extent of the damage, the school may need to contract with an outside company for remediation.
In the meantime, the games previously scheduled to take place on the field have been moved elsewhere. The coach has been placed on administrative leave.