Gainesville and county send out Koppers letters

8 Mar

http://citylimits.blogs.gainesville.com/13581/gainesville-and-county-send-out-koppers-letters/

March 8th, 2011 05:00pm

Gainesville and county send out Koppers letters

by Chris Curry

Alachua County and Gainesville city officials have once again done some letter writing on the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site. Following up on the City Commission vote of Feb. 17 and the Tuesday Feb. 22 County Commission vote, letters signed by Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe and County Commission Chairman Lee Pinkoson were sent off to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The city also sent a letter to the Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors to reiterate a request (first made in June 2010) that the organization’s members inform potential renters and home buyers looking at the neighborhood adjacent to the former wood treatment plant that there is a federally designated contamination site in the area.

The city also sent off a letter to Property Appraiser Ed Crapo with questions and resident concerns about property values near Cabot-Koppers. The letter asks for information on whether property values have declined because of the proximity to the Koppers site and whether a different methodology should be used to assess values in the area.

Both the city and county letters to the EPA mix some positive feedback and criticism for the remediation plan. The county letter supports the EPA’s intent to use of stricter clean-up standards for toxic dioxin in the soils of off site properties but expresses disappointment in the plan to contain and store contaminated soil on the Koppers property.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. Fill the envelopes with Koppers dirt and mail it to their Main Office keep doing it Until all the contamination is at THEIR OFFICE.

    by DW Pepper

  2. i’m glad to see some action on this. That letter to Mr. Crapo that “asks for information on whether property values have declined because of the proximity to the Koppers site and whether a different methodology should be used to assess values in the area” is an excellent idea, one i first heard from candidate James Ingle. i love it when folks get heard; folks like residents, Joe Prager, and Patricia Cline.

    by Zot Lynn Szurgot

  3. Current City Commission candidate Susan Bottcher’s March 31, 2010 letter to the Sun (see below) caused a great deal of upset and anger among city residents whose lives and health have been damaged, in far too many cases beyond repair, by Koppers’ contamination. This letter displays Bottcher’s lack of interest in residents’ genuine distress as well as her ignorance about our local environmental debacle. Families find her complete disregard for their ongoing pain callous and demeaning. Bottcher’s misuse of this life and death issue to rant at “anti-tax groups” belittles our community’s efforts for a meaningful solution. She truly committed a disservice to my suffering neighbors and to everyone working for an effective cleanup- a twist of the knife for no good reason.
    Further, Bottcher submitted this letter to the editor during last spring’s mayoral race without disclosing her role as a state committeewoman for the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee and a political communications associate for a local group providing campaign assistance for “progressive” candidates. This calculated omission was certainly unethical.
    Finally, her suggestion that citizens do not have a right to speak out when they disagree with City Commission decisions is a serious cause for concern, a likely indication that Bottcher does not really respect the democratic process. Here’s the letter in question, courtesy of the Sun archives:

    “Pay taxes or clean up” Susan Bottcher 03/31/2010
    Recently, blame has been placed on the City Commission that Koppers Superfund site hasn’t been cleaned up. Critics say our elected city officials could clean up this 27-year-old mess, but chose not to do so.
    In reality, the federal and state environmental protection agencies are the entities responsible for allocating resources needed to clean up Superfund sites.
    Most of the environmental protection agencies’ inertia is due to the success of the conservative agenda to shrink government to ever smaller and impotent proportions. Through the loosening of environmental regulations and continuous lowering of taxes, they have succeeded in stopping government agencies from doing their jobs.
    For anti-tax groups to then blame government for not solving such community problems is hypocritical. If cleaning up the toxic mess left by private industry is government’s job, then stop pointing fingers. Either gladly pay your taxes or get out there with a shovel and clean up Koppers yourself.
    Susan Bottcher,
    Gainesville
    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20100331/OPINION02/100339926?p=3&tc=pg

    by Sandra Watts Kennedy

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