WILLOWBROOK (CBS) — Hundreds of former Willowbrook residents are suing Los Angeles County, charging that they suffered cancer and other illnesses because of underground contamination in the area.

Now, County officials are making efforts to move a preschool in the neighborhood.

The Honey’s Little Angel Day Care Center is located across the street from the Ujima Village housing development. The development was built in the 1970’s on an abandoned oil storage yard and was shut down in 2010 when significant levels of contamination from petroleum byproducts were discovered underground.

But the day care center across the street, where 4-year-old children spend the day, continued to operate – until now.

L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he was unable to speak with CBS2 about the situation this time, but that’s not what he said last November. He spearheaded the day care move this summer to a County building about four miles from the current location.

Last November, the former Chair of the Regional Water Quality Control Board said the County should have a sense of urgency to move the day care.

Now officials have ordered expanded underground testing in the neighborhoods surrounding Ujima Village, because, they acknowledge, the contaminated plume is moving. And while they assure local residents in Willowbrook there is no health danger, many of them say they don’t feel they’re getting the whole story from the County.

» RELATED: Contaminated Ground Near Willowbrook Day Care Spawns Controversy, Lawsuit


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