Archive | March, 2012

CABOT-KOPPERS SUPERFUND SITE SUMMARY

14 Mar

The Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site is located near the intersection of Northwest 23rd Avenue and North Main Street in the heart of Gainesville, Florida, and covers approximately 170 acres.

A wood treatment plant operated on the Koppers portion of the site from 1912 until 2010.  In the first part of the 20th century, creosote was used to treat utility poles and timber.  In the final decades of operation, creosote was replaced by chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

Nearly a century of wood treatment activity and illegal dumping are responsible for contaminated ground water and soil.  Burning of contaminated waste has resulted in additional contamination.

The Cabot-Koppers acreage was declared a Superfund Site by the US EPA in 1983 and added to the National Priorities List for clean-up in 1984.  In 1984 there were just a few dozen sites on the list:  Cabot-Koppers became the 37th.  Hundreds of sites across the nation have been cleaned up since then, but not Gainesville’s.

In 2003 test results indicated that the Floridan Aquifer, the source of drinking water for 90% of the State of Florida, is being contaminated with toxins from Cabot-Koppers.

The Alachua County Commission sent two letters to President Obama in 2011 asking for his help to expedite the permanent relocation of affected residents and the protection of the municipal water supply.

The multinational, multibillion corporation, Beazer East is responsible for the Koppers clean-up.  Beazer East and Koppers are the same entity.

The primary contaminants are dioxins, creosote compounds, benzene, naphthalene, and chromated copper arsenate.

Test results from 2010 and 2011 confirmed extremely high and alarming levels of dioxins in homes within a two mile radius from the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site at an average of 400 to over 1,000 times above US EPA’s own “safe” level standard.

Chloracne, rashes, respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, shortness of breath, regular headache, frequent bloody noses, diabetes, autism, miscarriages, still births and birth defects including cleft palate, extra limbs, and missing organs are common complaints in Gainesville’s superfund neighborhoods.  Cancers of the colon, lungs, kidneys, thyroid, skin, pancreas, liver, prostate, brain, and stomach, to name just a few, are common in these neighborhoods.

Gainesville residents have been protesting, testifying of their families’ illnesses and deaths, and demanding environmental justice and permanent relocation for over fifty years.  Residents have retained a team of class action attorneys headed by The Calwell Practice.

For additional information visit koppersgainesville.com

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PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY FROM KOPPERS CONTAMINATION

12 Mar

Dr. Vito Ilacqua, former Professor with the University of Florida’s College of Health Professions Environmental Health Program (currently with the US EPA) made important recommendations to residents of homes in the area of Koppers’ industrial wood treatment site. He advised residents to “move away, right away”; to leave their contaminated belongings behind them, so as not to contaminate their new dwellings (i.e. everything inside their homes!)

When asked in 2010, Dr. Ilacqua and other experts suggested that affected families who could not afford to move away from their daily exposure to Koppers’ complex cocktail of chemical contaminants “MIGHT” reduce their level of exposure by:

  • Always wear shoes; don’t walk barefoot inside of your house or out of doors.
  • Wash all clothing 3 to 4 times between uses.
  • Never let your babies or children come in contact with floors without first placing a blanket, towel or sheet beneath them. Once the blanket, towel or sheet comes in contact with contaminated areas it becomes contaminated and must be washed at least 3 to 4 times before reuse.
  • When dusting, always wear a carbon mask and long gloves and use a damp cloth.  Dust only at eye level; try not to disturb dust above or below eye level.  After dusting, your dusting cloth is contaminated and must be disposed of as toxic waste.
  • Buy a Hepa Filter vacuum cleaner that has the sealed bags. Do not use open canister vacuum cleaners. Carpets are magnets for contamination. Hard floors are best.  Never use a dry cloth or mop on your hard floors, always use a damp mop when cleaning.  Remember when disposing of your mop head that it is toxic waste.
  • If you have an indoor/outdoor pet, every time your pet goes outside he must be bathed before you let him back in.  Make sure that your pet is not re-contaminated by walking on contaminated ground before he comes into your house. You must not touch your pets, including indoor pets, because they come in contact with the contaminated dust in your home as walk, rub and lay around inside your house.
  • Do not touch soil, dust or water in your yard. If you do, make sure you wash yourself right away. When landscaping or mowing your lawn, wear a carbon mask, long sleeves, long pants and gloves. Remove all clothing and shoes before entering your home.  Wash clothing 3 to 4 times between using again.
  • Do not eat fruits or vegetables grown in your contaminated yard.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE GO ON-LINE TO:
http://www.koppersgainesville.com

Singing Block of Foreclosure Sale of Home in Gainesville Koppers Superfund March 8th 2012

8 Mar

A singing block protest was started on behalf of Bea Horton, grandmother of five and one of countless victims of Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site contamination, distressed, suffering from cancer, and wearing a heart monitor,  became homeless on March 8, 2012. Her house located at 3507 NW 4th Street in Gainesville, Florida. At  11:00a.m. auction in the hallway lobby on the 1st floor of the Alachua County Family/Civil Justice Center at 201 East University Avenue in Gainesville, Ms. Horton is now another member of the growing ranks of Koppers/Beazer East Superfund Refugees and homeless. The same bank that foreclosed on Be Horton bought the property back for 130K.

Residents read names of dead to commission to show discontent

2 Mar

Susan Fairforest stood in front of the Gainesville City Commission dressed in a floor-length black dress. She had a sheer, black veil drawn over her face.

Gripping a sheet of paper, she read the names of about 15 people who lived and died in the Stephen Foster neighborhood during the last 30 years. All of them, Fairforest said, died from pollutants that leaked into their homes and bodies from the nearby Cabot-Koppers Superfund site, an area that was declared hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1984.

About 20 residents sat at the commission meeting Thursday night, all of whom were dressed in black.

Four of the residents berated the commission for using grant money to fund art exhibits and festivals to commemorate the Superfund site instead of using those funds to help residents relocate from their contaminated homes.

“We need help,” said Maria Parsons, a neighborhood advocate. “We don’t need more art festivals. We need environmental justice.”

City Commissioner Randy Wells said he understood their angst, but they should not get mad at their neighbors who are working to put on the exhibits and other art projects.

“They are acting out of every bit of sincerity,” Wells said. “The whole point of these things is for us not to forget that there is social injustice going on.”

For about 30 years, residents have been dealing with health concerns as a result of the plant that was once the site of wood treatment and charcoal production facilities.

The EPA determines the cleanup of the Superfund site. Residents of the Stephen Foster neighborhood said they will continue to hold the city accountable for not relocating residents from the area.

The city took part in making suggestions to the EPA that shaped a 703-page cleanup plan released by the EPA in February 2011.

Parsons said residents will be at future commission meetings reading the names of those who have died in the neighborhood as a result of high toxicity levels in the air and in their homes.

“Our neighborhoods have emptied out,” Parsons said. “This puts a human face to those who we’ve lost in our community.”

Contact Adrianna Paidas at apaidas@alligator.org.

http://www.alligator.org/news/local/article_12ff8554-6422-11e1-a3e5-0019bb2963f4.html

Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012 12:15 am

Adrianna Paidas, Alligator Writer | 0 comments

THE FORECLOSURE DEBACLE’S LATEST TWIST: MAJOR BANKS ARE NOW VICTIMIZING INNOCENT CHILDREN AND SICK GRANDMOTHERS IN TOXIC GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

1 Mar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2012

THE FORECLOSURE DEBACLE’S LATEST TWIST:  MAJOR BANKS ARE NOW VICTIMIZING INNOCENT CHILDREN AND SICK GRANDMOTHERS IN TOXIC GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

Bea Horton, grandmother of five and one of countless victims of Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site contamination, distressed, suffering from cancer, and wearing a heart monitor, will become homeless on March 8, 2012.  On that day, Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan will auction away her home located at 3507 NW 4th Street in Gainesville, Florida.  After the 11:00a.m. auction in the hallway lobby on the 1st floor of the Alachua County Family/Civil Justice Center at 201 East University Avenue in Gainesville, Ms. Horton will be yet another member of the growing ranks of Koppers/Beazer East Superfund Refugees.

Ms. Horton believes that Bank of America’s legally orchestrated maneuvers are designed to silence her because she speaks out on a regular basis against the routine non-disclosure of the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site that places unsuspecting families in highly contaminated homes and neighborhoods.  She wants to prevent other innocent families from moving into her highly toxic home and neighborhood and thus unknowingly exposing their children to carcinogenic chemical toxins.  This is why Ms. Horton speaks out.  Like most homeowners in the sick neighborhoods surrounding Cabot-Koppers, she did not receive disclosure about the nearby Superfund Site when buying her home, although this disclosure is required by State law.  She would not have purchased her home if she had received disclosure- she would never knowingly expose her grandchildren to dangerously high levels of dioxin.

Ms. Horton’s bank and realtor knowingly placed her in a highly dioxin/agent orange contaminated home with no disclosure of the existence of the Superfund Site and its deadly contamination.  When homeowners like Ms. Horton discover the many illnesses and deaths in their neighborhoods or themselves become victims of the contamination, they often contact their banks to negotiate a way out of their toxic homes.  The major banks uniformly respond by swiftly filing foreclosure on these innocent families.

The banks then proceed to resell the foreclosed, toxic properties, as they will Ms. Horton’s, to a fresh crop of unsuspecting primarily low-income and minority families.  Despite the fact that they have known about the site all along and have additionally been put on notice by homeowners’ attorneys regarding the extent and degree of contamination, all of the major banks continue the predatory practices that perpetuate the cycle of misery, disease, and death that is plaguing Gainesville.

The stress of ongoing human and civil rights violations that the immediately affected Ms. Horton and other residents living near the Superfund Site are already subjected to is increasingly exacerbated by economic persecution from greedy banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, PJ Morgan Chase and Fannie Mae.

“Too many are sick and too many have died here.” Ms. Horton says, “I will continue to speak out against this environmental injustice. If I save just one innocent child from this massive and lethal contamination I will have done my job.  It is all about our future.  That is our children- we must save the children!”

**                         **                         **                         **                         **                         **
The Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site is located near the intersection of Northwest 23rd Avenue and North Main Street in the heart of Gainesville, Florida, and covers approximately 170 acres.

A wood treatment plant operated on the Koppers portion of the site from 1912 until 2010.  In the first part of the 20th century, creosote was used to treat utility poles and timber.  In the final decades of operation, creosote was replaced by chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

Nearly a century of wood treatment activity and illegal dumping are responsible for contaminated ground water and soil.  Burning of contaminated waste has resulted in additional contamination.

The Cabot-Koppers acreage was declared a Superfund Site by the US EPA in 1983 and added to the National Priorities List for clean-up in 1984.  In 1984 there were just a few dozen sites on the list:  Cabot-Koppers became the 37th.  Hundreds of sites across the nation have been cleaned up since then, but not Gainesville’s.

In 2003 test results indicated that the Floridan Aquifer, the source of drinking water for 90% of the State of Florida, is being contaminated by toxins from Cabot-Koppers.
The Alachua County Commission sent two letters to President Obama in 2011 asking for his help to expedite the permanent relocation of affected residents and the protection of the municipal water supply.

The multinational, multibillion corporation, Beazer East is responsible for the Koppers clean-up.  Beazer East and Koppers are the same entity.

The primary contaminants are dioxins, creosote compounds, benzene, naphthalene, and chromated copper arsenate.
Test results from 2010 and 2011 confirmed extremely high and alarming levels of dioxins in homes within a two mile radius from the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site at an average of 400 to over 1000 times above US EPA’s own “safe” level standard.

Chloracne, rashes, respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, shortness of breath, regular headache, frequent bloody noses, diabetes, miscarriages, still births and birth defects including cleft palate, extra limbs, and missing organs are common complaints in Gainesville’s superfund neighborhoods.  Cancers of the colon, lungs, kidneys, thyroid, skin, pancreas, liver, prostate, brain, and stomach, to name just a few, are common in these neighborhoods.

Gainesville residents have been protesting, testifying of their families’ illnesses and deaths, and demanding environmental justice and permanent relocation for over fifty years.

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Contact
Erwin Ellis
425-419-1130
http://www.KoppersGainesville.com
koppersgainesville@gmail.com