State inspectors returned to Mount Carmel Wednesday to draw samples from two spots where previous tests showed lead contamination.
Inspectors for the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission originally tested a dozen ground samples from the site of an April 19 fire, which leveled the Branch Davidians’ two-story compound.
More than 80 cult members were killed.
Lead was the only metal to show up in hazardous amounts. Those samples showed two spots near the so-called bunker—actually a concrete building that survived the fire—had lead contamination.
Workers later tore down the bunker, saying that it was now structurally unsound.
The two spots were retested Wednesday, said an official for TNRCC.
TNRCC was created when the Texas Water Commission and the Texas Air Control Board merged.
“Both spots have lead levels high enough to be considered hazardous,” said Robert Ferry, an environmental quality specialist.
State health officials have quarantined the area since summer. They cited untreated sewage, standing water where mosquitoes could breed and debris where rats could live.
Initially, the quarantine covered the entire property, but it was later restricted to the area around the former compound.
A fence and security guards ensure the quarantine.
Ferry said the additional lead testing will determine how large an area must be cleaned up. The lead poses no danger to the public, he said.
“The lead is there,” he said. “It’s not going to move. What we’re trying to do is see if we need to get a shovel to scoop up the contamination or come through with a bulldozer and dump truck.”