By Henry Taksier
The following photos were taken of residents and pets living directly along the fence of the highly contaminated Cabot/Koppers Superfund site in Gainesville, FL. Click the first thumbnail to start a slide show with full-size photos and captions.
Sandra Kennedy, President of the Stephen Foster Neighborhood Association, addressed the City Commission on Feb. 17, stating on behalf of her neighbors, “We, the affected, want immediate and permanent relocation.”
Other residents expressed concern that their kids were attending elementary schools within the range of Superfund contamination, while others testified angrily that their real estate agents failed to inform them of the dangerous implications of moving into the neighborhood before they signed their leases.
At the same meeting, Anthony Dennis of the Florida Department of Health stated that indoor dioxin contamination is a “legitimate concern” and that the EPA will conduct further testing. Later in the meeting, he mentioned that the EPA formed a work group to determine how indoor sampling would occur, “if it is warranted,” slightly contrary to what he said earlier.
Commissioner Thomas Hawkins echoed the sentiment of affected residents, stating that indoor dioxin contamination is a matter of “serious, imminent concern.” Maria Parsons of the Stephen Foster Neighborhood Protection Group pointed out that independent agencies have already performed tests, revealing indoor dioxin levels high above the state’s residential standard for soil outdoors, which is 7 parts per trillion.
“We have indoor dioxin concentrations of 400 to 1000 parts per trillion inside our houses and the EPA will not relocate us,” Kennedy mentioned at the meeting. “This is crazy.”