Gainesville’s Superfund Site – And What It Means for Homeowners

Gainesville Florida has its very own Superfund site. The Cabot Koppers Superfund site is located near the intersection of NW 23rd Avenue and North Main Street in Gainesville Florida. According to the EPA website, the Cabot Koppers site comprises about 140 acres. Per the EPA website, “A wood treating facility operated on the Koppers portion of the site from 1916 until 2009. Cabot Carbon operated a charcoal production facility on the Cabot Carbon portion of the site.” The site was listed as a Superfund site in 1984.

Cabot Koppers Superfund site map – Gainesville FL

According to the EPA, “Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include arsenic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins/furans and creosote compounds.”

You can find a Google map of the Cabot Koppers Superfund site here, which identifies not only where the Koppers Superfund site is but also shows the 2 mile diameter around the site.

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department produced this interactive map showing where toxic soil samples have been found around the Koppers Superfund site.

The Stephen Foster neighborhood adjoins the Cabot Koppers Superfund site. According to an environmental report released by the EPA on May 23 2013, “The Stephen Foster neighborhood is adjacent to the western boundary of the Koppers portion of the Cabot Carbon-Koppers Superfund Site in Gainesville, Florida. The pattern of dioxin concentrations in the Stephen Foster Neighborhood (SFN) surface soil suggests wind-blown dust deposition from the Koppers site.”

You can read the full EPA report here: EPA indoor dust study data report sampling conducted in Gainesville FL – May 23 2013

Homeowners in the Stephen Foster neighborhood have been lobbying to have their homes bought out so they can move away from the site. However, buying out their homes is not in the government’s remediation plans.

Remediation efforts are ongoing to clean up the Superfund site. However, the government’s efforts don’t seem to be providing concerned residents with much comfort.

The KoppersGainesville website provides background on the Cabot Koppers Superfund site as well as firsthand accounts of how it affects nearby residents.

For a government perspective on the history of the Cabot Koppers Superfund Site and how remediation efforts are going, check out this May 2011 Community Involvement Plan for the Koppers Superfund Site.

About Coleen DeGroff