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Clearfield High baseball coach on leave for contaminating field with petroleum, school district says

Posted at 7:23 PM, Apr 02, 2019

CLEARFIELD, Utah — The Clearfield High School baseball field has been shut down due to contamination. The school district says the baseball coach poured petroleum on parts of the field to dry it out, causing the contamination.

According to the Davis County Health Department, a concerned parent notified them of a strong gasoline smell near the baseball field at Clearfield High School.

Rachelle Blackham, the Environmental Health Director with the Davis County Health Department, says they did initial tests on the field on March 25.

“We went out there and used a four gas analyzer in which we took readings of VOC’s 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 the contaminants contaminating the soil and percolating down,” said Blackham.

During the tests, it was found that 15 to 20 gallons of gasoline and diesel were poured on the field.

Shauna Lund, the Community Relations Supervisor of the Davis County School District, says they are aware that this is a common practice for drying out baseball fields, However, the health department says it’s something that people shouldn’t do.

The school district has hired an outside company to do tests on the field. The company did their first tests on April 1st and those test results should be back later in the week.

“Then we go from there, we start removing layers of dirt in the areas where there’s contamination and then it’s retested to make sure we don’t need to go deeper,” said Lund.

The field is currently closed because of soil contamination.

“So the baseball team is playing away instead of at home we’ve closed down the field for the safety of students and the community and until it’s remediate we won’t have any games on that field,” said Lund.

Depending on the test results, it could take a while to clean up and repair the field.

While the investigation is ongoing, the school district says the baseball coach is on administrative leave.