WUFT News

Cleanup Of Soil Contaminants In Stephen Foster Neighborhood Began Monday

By , and on November 18th, 2013

Beazer East, Inc., a wood treatment company responsible for potentially-cancerous soil contamination in a neighborhood of the Gainesville area, began soil remediation at their pilot property at 436 NW 30th Ave. on Monday.

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the site a Superfund site because it found that arsenic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins/furans and creosote compounds were toxins of concern in the soils of the area.

The contaminated area is the Koppers portion of the Cabot-Koppers property in the Stephen Foster neighborhood at Northwest 6th St. between Northeast 23rd Ave. and Northwest 32nd Ave.

The pilot home is intended to provide preliminary information that will help in the future remediation projects in the neighborhood. In this project, about a foot of soil will be removed and replaced from the property at 436 NW 30th Ave. Landscaping of the property will then follow.

Beazer East will pay about $8,000 a yard for cleanup of the site, said Scott Miller, Environmental Protection Agency remedial project manager. He described the process of fixing the soil contamination, which he said may cause cancer if subjected to prolonged exposure in certain quantities.

“We’re coming through to each yard that has related contaminants that exceeded state standards, and we’re doing soil replacement and landscape replacement where necessary,” Miller said.

This process is projected to replace the soil at all targeted areas by May 2014.

Homeowners in the neighborhood are having mixed emotions about the start of the project. Some are hopeful for the future, while others are still bitter about the past.

Although he was happy with his time at the house, Eddie Marshall, resident of the pilot property, started to notice other afflictions that he didn’t seem to get anywhere else.

“Sometimes I would have rashes around my ankles if I was out a lot during the day and getting my feet really dirty or something. I’d get the rash and it would itch,” Marshall said. “I never really experienced that anywhere else.”

Farinda Osteen, who lives on NW 29th Ave., is unhappy about what has been happening at the site for years. She said people living against the fence where the contamination is the heaviest should have been relocated.

“This is no way to clean it up. There is no way to clean it up to start with,” she said.

Osteen wants signs to be put out in front of the neighborhood to inform people of the problems that homeowners and future homeowners could face.

“People would be notified when they come into this property that this property was contaminated at one time and the people would be aware of what they are buying and living in,” said Osteen.

While Ashley Baggett, who lives on NW 30th Ave, is hopeful the process of replacing the soil will fix the problem, she fears health issues could arise because of the soil remediation.

“I don’t know so much of side effects or what could happen, I just don’t want anything to happen later down the road like cancer,” said Baggett.

The pilot property of the project should be completed before Thanksgiving, Miller said, and 80 other houses in the area will begin the remediation process by early next year.


This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Environment

Billy McDaniel (left), Tommy Hines (right) catch a gag grouper at Cedar Key, trolling in 50 feet of water.

FWC Surveys Local Fishermen About Gulf Species

The FWC is conducting surveys to discover trends in species of fish being caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Local fishermen agree that monitoring the fish is important, but some question the method of data collection.


Gina Hall, the current president of the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors, said that residential sales in the Stephen Foster neighborhood have been improving. Local realtor Darlene Pifalo said the home pictured above sold in an average amount time on the market after the price was lowered slightly.

Stephen Foster Residents Hope For Neighborhood Revival

The Cabot-Koppers wood treatment plant became an EPA Superfund site in 1983 after dioxins contaminated the soil and underground aquifer. Now that cleanup of residential property was completed in November, the residents look toward the future.


Frosted elfin butterfly

Butterfly Study Calls Attention To Prescribed Burning Practices

A recent study by a University of Florida graduate researches the effects of prescribed fires on the elfin frosted butterfly. The species requires fire to survive, but is also prone to damage from excessive burning.


Containerized longleaf pine seedlings are removed from a growing tray. They are then counted and placed in a wax coated cardboard shipping box.

Longleaf Pine Restoration Helps Environment And Economy

Longleaf pine is being reintroduced into the United States ecosystem. If the restoration plan is successful, this type of pine would benefit the environment and the economy.


Bert the bluff oak resides outside the Nuclear Science Center on the University of Florida campus. Plans to construct the Innovation Nexus Building in that area for the College of Engineering have gone through several variations in order to save him and four other heritage trees in the area.

For Trees Like Bert, Special Titles Do Not Always Guarantee Special Protections

The Florida Champion Tree Register recognizes the largest tree in the state of each noninvasive species. It’s the next step of recognition up from heritage tree status, like that of Bert, the bluff oak that has affected plans for the Innovation Nexus Building at UF.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments