Dream House Or Toxic Nightmare?

Andrew Paul and his family will never forget Aug.2,1993. That's the day the Environmental Protection Agency told them the yard of their house in Stratford, Conn., contained asbestos-laced soil that would have to be cleaned up. Paul was relocating to Virginia and already had a buyer lined up. But the sale was canceled, and Paul carried the house for a year until EPA paid to dig up his yard. Worse, EPA's contractor ruined the Pauls' exquisite landscaping. "We're still pretty bitter," says Paul, who sold the house last fall for $35,000 less than it was valued a year earlier.

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