WASHINGTON— The city of Jacksonville, Fla., has agreed to clean up two Superfund Sites located within the city limits at an estimated cost of $94 million, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. In addition, the settlement requires the city to reimburse all costs incurred by EPA.
For roughly fifty years, the city operated two incinerators and a landfill resulting in widespread contamination in and around Jacksonville. The sites, known as the Jacksonville Ash Site and the Brown’s Dump Site, are contaminated with incinerator ash, which contains metals, arsenic, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and dioxin, among other things.
The Jacksonville Ash site (JAS) includes three separate locations of former waste processing and/or disposal facilities operated or used by the city. The JAS consists of two former city incinerators at Forest Street and at 5th and Cleveland Streets, and a former dump site that is now occupied by the Lonnie C. Miller, Sr. Park. All three locations are in the northwest portion of Jacksonville in Duval County, Florida.
The Brown’s Dump Site consists of the former Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School, an electrical substation of the Jacksonville Electric Authority, surrounding single family homes and apartment buildings.
“Today’s agreement ensures that these two Superfund Sites will be cleaned up and restored,” said Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This is an important step toward a cleaner and healthier environment for the people of Jacksonville.”
United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, Robert E. O’Neill said, “This case represents a collaborative effort between the city of Jacksonville and the United States which has resulted in an ambitious project to clean-up and restore properties contaminated with hazardous substances in the Jacksonville community.”
“EPA is pleased that the city of Jacksonville has recognized its responsibility at these two Sites,” said Jimmy Palmer, U.S. EPA’s Regional Administrator. “This agreement will result in the cleanup of four neighborhoods in Jacksonville and serve to protect public health and the environment.”
In August 2006, the U.S. EPA selected cleanup plans for the two sites. The plans require soil excavation at residential properties, schools and parks, and the installation of a two foot layer of clean soil. Excavated soil will be solidified and stabilized in accordance with federal regulations, as needed, prior to off-site disposal at an appropriate landfill. The plans will provide for various measures to protect human health and the environment. Remediation will also be conducted at streams and creeks, and groundwater will be monitored to ensure protection of public health and the environment. The consent decree, lodged today in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, is subject to a 30-day comment period and court approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_ Decrees.html.