DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Truckloads of dirt containing toxic asbestos began leaving a staging area just south of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport Monday.READ MORE: Doral Police ID Officers Injured In Friday's Shooting
The process of removing the dirt and taking it to a designated landfill will take three weeks.
The dirt was dug up near terminal four where they are building a new terminal as part of the massive expansion project.
The asbestos revelation is troubling to Melaleuca Gardens residents who live just south of the airport. This is the same neighborhood that was at odds with the expansion project.
Jimmy Childers lives in Melaleuca Gardens.
“I’m shocked, it shouldn’t be that way. They are spending millions on the airport and doing nothing over here,” said Childers whose backyard is just feet away from the mound.
Airport spokesman Greg Meyer says the situation is contained. He says the asbestos was identified about ten days ago.READ MORE: Six People Hospitalized Following Boat Explosion In Dania Beach
“If you are worried about your neighbor or airport user, there’s nothing to worry about, it’s being dealt with,” said Meyer.
No one knows how the asbestos-laden material ended up on the airport grounds.
The asbestos was embedded in old floor tiles buried long ago on the airport property.
“You hear the word asbestos and you think the worst but the fact is we understand it is not airborne and is being watered, and contained and trucked away as quickly as possible,” said Meyer.
Dania Beach’s Mayor Marco Salvino, who lives in the neighborhood, thinks the asbestos has been there a lot longer than ten days.
“We want the ground tested around here to make sure the residents and children are safe,” said Salvino.
Jimmy Childers thinks testing is a good idea for everyone’s peace of mind.MORE NEWS: Florida Is Ditching Palm Trees To Fight Climate Crisis
“Especially with asbestos. It’s a killing thing. Not good for anyone to be here,” he said.