Gainesville’s Dirty Secret: Renters and Buyers Not Warned About EPA Superfund Site

13 Jun

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/710/006/Gainesvilles_Dirty_Secret:_Renters_and_Buyers_Never_Warned_about_EPA_Superfund_Site.html

Sunday, June 12, 2011 1:15

Landlords and Realtors’ Chronic Failure to Disclose Agent Orange and Other Hazardous Toxins.
June 12, 2011

STUDENT RENTERS BEWARE — KOPPERS SUPERFUND SITE ALREADY IN A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU.:  Ground Zero of  a 2 Mile radius of cancer causing airborne toxins begins at: 2200 NW 23rd Avenue Gainesville and in one radian extends southwest to include a significant portion of the UF campus including several student housing apartment complexes and rental homes.

Recent EPA approved scientific study concludes that DNA altering toxins have probably made entry into apartment complexes, homes, restaurants and businesses within a 2 mile radius in every direction from this infamous physical address in Northwaest Gainesville. These test results provide statistical certainty of wide spread toxic canamination even while the classrooms of  nearby Stephen Foster elementary school have never been tested.

A Gainesville Sun artilce from 2009 reports:  Parents are warned over Koppers site
“Test results of soil just west of the Koppers wood treatment facility on N.W. 23rd Avenue show that levels of dioxin – a compound that affects immune and reproductive systems – exceed state and national standards for residential areas.”

VIDEO survey of residential area immediatel west of “ground zero”, Koppers Superfund site.

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For nearly a century, Koppers Inc. operated a 90-acre industrial facility at 200 NW 23rd Ave. The area has long been ranked as one of the nation’s top-100 polluted sites. In 1983, it was declared by the Environmental Protection Agency to be a Superfund site – a place so heavily polluted with toxic waste it is now known to pose a significant human health threat inside a majority of homes within a huge 13 square mile area of Gainesville and Alachua County.

For decades, Koppers released industrial toxins into Gainesville’s air, water and soil, including arsenic, hexavalent chromium, creosote and dioxins. Combined, these chemicals are synergistically far worse than the sum of their individual toxicities with an ability to cause cancer, birth defects and alter the human genome is such a way as to predispose future generations to cancers and birth defects even though they never lived in Gainesville or the State of Florida.

Currently, a pretentious 500-foot buffer around Koppers includes ABC Liquor, Ward’s Supermarket, the Salvation Army, a daycare center and many residential homes, which the City of Gainesville designated an “area of special environmental concern” in 2005.  Today many of the homes are vacant due to death from cancers, mortgage default and others who evacuated on their own terms.

After 26 years of stalling and complicity by the City of Gainesville, the floridan aquifer is officially contaminated with pollutants flowing north in the direction of the Murphree Wellfield where GRU draws the drinking water supply for Gainesville and numerous communities in Alachua County.

Koppers has been the nation’s most stubborn deadly dump since it was designated by the EPA.  Survivors are now fighting back to reveal Koppers as a national scandal and cover-up by the City of Gainesvillle, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Alachua County Government, local realtors and dark powers associated with the University of Florida.

Beazer East, the Koppers holding company of interminable delay is charged with negotiating with the EPA to clean up the site.  But while residents are pleading for emergency evacuation and relocation, Beazer has been allowed to slow-walk the cleanup just when the EPA is threatened with losing what little funding and authority they still have.

The complicity of deadly inaction has been practiced by local government for decades – even when the EPA was sufficiently funded to protect Gainesville citizens.

Until 2009 Koppers had been quietly licensed for operation, year after year. The City even supported Koppers’ economic success when they allowed GRU to sign a renewable contract for chemically processed utility polls.

An apparent death wish toward their own ratepayers was revealed when contamination of the Floridan aquifer became a recognized threat to Gainesville’s drinking water at the same time GRU’s contract for Koppers significantly worked to Beazer’s advantage of strategic delay.

Make no mistake – these are the victims of toxic contamination after they were victims of decades of lies and inaction by the City, County and GRU.  Even Chris Bird’s environmental protection department has been constantly intimidated by City, County, and even University of Florida “bosses” into the inaction of silence.

Today, Gainesville continues to permit new construction inside ground zero and landlords continue to rent without disclosing the danger to renters.

The horrid cancer statistics suffered in silence by so many, are seldom reported by Gainesville Sun and WCJB TV – a conspiracy of unforgiveable complicity.

The parents of thousands of UF and Santa Fe college students are never informed about Koppers Superfund site even while they plunk down thousands to house their sons and daughters in rentals and dorm style housing assumed to be safe from hidden dangers.  Not one parent or student is made aware by realtors and landlords that significant health risks extend to a minimum distance of two miles from the Koppers dust bowl in every direction.

Koppers Criminal complicity has long and cruel tentacles

Stephen Foster Elementary school sits virtually outside Koppers fence at ground zero but the school’s interior, classrooms and cafeteria have never been tested for dioxins or any other toxin on EPA’s long list despite the disturbing scientific sample data published last February.

Who are the real terrorists?

On February 15, 2011 the Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine in Tallahassee received conclusive data from the Calwell Practice of West Virginia establishing that deadly toxins from the Koppers Superfund site have contaminated the insides of structures to a minimum distance (radius) of two (2) miles from Koppers.  The 233 samples were collected and analyzed under strict EPA protocol that employed rigorous analysis using two different labs.

The revelation that Agent Orange type dioxins and other poisons have contaminated the inside of schools, homes, student apartments and businesses in a 13 square mile area of Gainesville, Alachua County and a portion of the UF Campus could easily be considered an environmental emergency.  Instead, the Gainesville Sun shamefully chose to run a solid week of Osama Bin Laden myths in section A, above the fold.

The disconnect of cowardice between the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department, Health department, School Board and local investigative news is nothing less than a deadly conspiracy of silence.

On March 18, The Gainesville and Alachua County Area Realtors Association (GACAR) appeared to be yielding to the outcry from Koppers victims when they published a revised residential buyers disclosure form addressing the Koppers Superfund site.

But GACAR’S flimsy disclosure refers to toxic risks in terms so vague there seems little chance that buyers will know just how deadly their purchase will be.  Nowhere does the disclosure mention Cabot Koppers by name or address.

More importantly any disclosure cannot be effective until landlords and apartment developers provide this explicit notice and information as to the nature and location of Koppers.

GACAR’s online interactive form provides a few tedious links where buyers are presumed to have access to high speed internet service and understand how to negotiate the links to search for — scroll to, and eventually “discover” one of the most important lists of deadly and DNA altering toxins in the United States.

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