Tag Archives: cleanup plan

The Stigma Is Here To Stay…And It Won’t Whitewash Away

28 Oct

Research studies confirm that superfund neighborhoods retain their stigma even decades after EPA says they are clean and safe.

Stephen Foster Neighborhood is subject to an ongoing cycle of exodus and repopulation. When a generation of residents experiences the health effects of toxic exposure and learns about the superfund contamination that banks and realtors failed to disclose to them, population and property values plummet as homeowners abandon toxic homes to protect their families. The neighborhood repopulates as banks and realtors foreclose and sell the dangerous homes again without properly disclosing the Koppers Superfund Site and offsite contamination. More than 70% of Stephen Foster homes have been abandoned at least once.

When affected homeowners turn to the government for help, their elected officials’ response is to tell them they should sue. Residents who cannot afford to leave their hazardous homes are angered by the government’s failure to protect their families. Their anger, sense of hopelessness, and fear for their families’ future are well-founded. A partial list of resident-reported maladies related to toxic exposure including some diseases the Veteran Administration relates to Dioxin/Agent Orange includes:

Asthma Onset                                                        Neurological Impairment
Chloracne                                                               High Suicide Rate
Chronic B-cell Leukemias                                   Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Chronic headaches and nose bleeds                 Parkinson’s Disease
Chronic rashes and phantom itches                 Peripheral Neuropathy
Compromised Immune System                         Prostate Cancer
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2                                     Respiratory Cancers
Hodgkin’s Disease                                                 Soft Tissue Sarcomas
Ischemic Heart Disease                                       Spina Bifida, other Birth Defects
Liver Dysfunction                                                 Thyroid Cancer
Lupus                                                                       Unexplained Seizures
Multiple Myeloma                                                 Multiple Sclerosis

 Recent home sales in Stephen Foster reflecting the ongoing Superfund Stigma:

430 NW 31st Lane: Home purchased for $137,000 cash without Koppers disclosure was sold to investor for $6,600 after homeowner’s death from lung cancer. Homeowner never smoked and told family and neighbors that she blamed the house’s indoor contamination from Koppers for her illness and that she damned the day she moved to Gainesville and all the lying government agencies and elected do-nothing officials. When the investor was questioned by neighbors as to why he bought a contaminated home he said he didn’t care about the contamination because he wasn’t going to live there and he was going to make lots of money whether he rented or sold the property. Deceased homeowner had indoor testing of this house for Koppers chemicals and test results indicate that the house is highly contaminated.

500 NW 31st Lane: Home recently sold for $12,000 after homeowner’s death.

3119 NW 4th St: Home sold for $100. Tenants left for their health and safety after entire family was afflicted with illnesses that included chloracne, chronic nose bleeds and headaches, asthma onset, recurrent boils and abscesses, phantom itch and musculoskeletal pain. Family had no disclosure of the Koppers Superfund contamination problem in the neighborhood. Independent testing revealed severe contamination inside of house.

3139 NW 4th St: Home was purchased for $78,000 with no Koppers disclosure and recently sold for $42,000. Homeowner left for the health and safety of her young children.

3203 NW 4th St: Home was purchased for $106,000 with no Koppers disclosure. Bank recently resold property for $36,900 with no Koppers disclosure. Homeowner left to protect children’s health. Indoor and outdoor test results indicate that this property is highly contaminated.

3507 NW 4th St: Homeowner purchased this property for $126,000 with no Koppers disclosure. After foreclosing, bank sold to newowner for $48,900 without Koppers disclosure. Original foreclosed owner had the house independently tested and the toxic chemical contamination filed in court records. Afflicted by cancer, she blamed the indoor contamination and the ongoing toxic stormwater runoff that trespasses the property from the Koppers Superfund Site for her illness. Test results of this house indicate high levels of Koppers contamination indoors and outdoors.

514 NW 33rd Ave: Homeowner purchased property with no Koppers disclosure with a $133,000 loan. Original foreclosed owner had the house independently tested and the toxic chemical contamination filed in court records. After receiving the test results, homeowner disclosed the contamination to her tenants. Tenants decided to stay anyway. Two years later, several members of tenant family became victims of thyroid cancer. After the tenants left for their health and safety, the owner did not rent the property again and Bank recently resold property for $52,000 with no Koppers disclosure. New owners are no longer living on property after they learned their home and neighborhood is contaminated by Koppers Superfund Site. The home is highly contaminated indoors and outdoors.

3415 NW 5th St: Home was purchased for $187,000 with no Koppers disclosure. Bank recently resold the toxic property for $100 to investors. Family left for their children’s health and safety; the new investors are already reselling the contaminated property.

501 NW 28th Ave: Home was purchased for $138,900 with no Koppers disclosure. Bank recently resold the contaminated home for $34,000 after original owners abandoned the property due to many miscarriages and health issues associated with the contamination from the Koppers Superfund Site that the family was facing. Original owners had property independently tested for Koppers contamination and the results indicate that the house is severely contaminated inside.

431 NW 32nd Ave: Home was purchased for $174,000 with no Koppers disclosure. Bank resold property for $47,200 with no Koppers disclosure.

533 NW 29th Ave: Home was purchased for $108,000 with no Koppers disclosure. Bank resold property for $35,000 with no Koppers disclosure. Original owners abandoned property due to health and safety concerns and Koppers contamination of their home. New homeowner planning to move for health and safety.

519 NW 29th Ave: Home was purchased with no Koppers disclosure. Bank resold property recently for $35,000 with no Koppers disclosure. Original owners abandoned property for their health and safety because of the Koppers contamination of their home. Present tenant at this property had no Koppers disclosure and will be moving for their health and safety.

501 NW 29th Ave: Home has been empty for two years. The longtime tenants left for their health and safety after the entire family- three generations- was afflicted with multiple illnesses including chloracne, chronic nose bleeds and headaches, asthma onset, recurrent extremely painful boils and abscesses, and multiple cancers. Recently the youngest member of the family, a 15 year-old boy, was told he has leukemia. Family had no disclosure of the Koppers Superfund contamination problem in the neighborhood.

3403 NW 3rd Ave: Home was purchased for $91,000 with no Koppers disclosure. After the family left for their health and safety, the bank foreclosed and resold property to an investor for $41,500.

529 NW 30th Ave: Home was purchased for $85,000. The owner left for health and safety, the bank foreclosed, and the property sits empty.

537 NW 30th Ave: Home was purchased for $85,000. The owner left for health and safety, the bank foreclosed and this property also sits empty.

425 NW 37th Ave: Home’s original loan was $137,000. Property owner received no Koppers disclosure. Foreclosed owner had the house independently tested and the toxic chemical contamination filed in court records. After receiving test results, the homeowner disclosed the contamination to her tenants. Tenants decided to move for their health and safety and owner did not rent this property again. Bank foreclosed and listed property for $68,000. The property never sold and still sits empty two years later. Filed indoor and outdoor test results reveal that this property is highly toxic. The property owner also received registered test results from the State of Florida stating that this property is contaminated.

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Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae Hate You and Your Children

23 Sep

WellsFargoLogoAccording to their mission statement, “Wells Fargo’s ongoing respect for human rights reflects our vision and values. This effort is done with the understanding that in some circumstances we may go above and beyond what the law and industry standards require. We are dedicated to corporate social responsibility and strive to uphold human rights in all our business activities.” Seriously? Actions speak louder than words.

Wells-Fargo and HUD profit by using Fannie Mae to put new families into hazardous homes.
Ignoring families’ pleas for assistance out of Koppers Arsenic-Dioxin-PAH contaminated homes knowingly financed by Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo forecloses on the dangerous properties. Wells Fargo then transfers ownership to HUD for the full value, enabling HUD to sell the toxic homes to new families through Fannie Mae.

More Proof that Wells Fargo hates you and your children

514NW31stLn514 NW 31st Lane Gainesville, FL 32609: contamination is fully documented on public record and ongoing lawsuits.

Wells Fargo and FannieMae are preparing to sell the most hazardous property in the Koppers Superfund neighborhood. The unscrupulous actions of these entities will assure that a new and unsuspecting family will move into this highly toxic home, by nondisclosure or through an uncaring property investor who will rent it out with a fresh coat of paint.

Either way, a new round of innocent victims will be exposed to high levels of dioxins and the lethal combination of:

Arsenic, Benzene, DEHP, Dinitrotoluene, Lead, Mercury, Methylnaphthalene, Naphthalene, Pyrene, Acenaphthene, Acenaphthylene, Anthracene, Antimony, BenzoAnthracene, BenzoFluoranthene, BenzoPerylene, BenzoPyrene, BaPEq, Chromium, Dibenzo Anthracene, Ethanol, Ethylbenzene, Fluoranthene, Fluorene, Indeno(1,2,3-cd)Pyrene, 2-3-4 Methylphenol, Pentachlorophenol, Phenanthrene, Phenols, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Biphenyl, Camphor, Carbazole, 2-Chloronaphthalene, Chrysene, Copper, Dibenzofuran, Dimethylphenol, Indene, Nitrosodiphenylamine, Violate Organic Compounds…more chemicals than a meth house!

 One of the homes sold by Fannie Mae without disclosure

3507NW$thSt3507 NW 4th Street Gainesville FL, 32609: contamination is fully documented on public record and ongoing lawsuits.

The previous owner of this toxic home was surprised to receive a late night visitor sent by Corporate America who told her “It’s not personal- it’s about the money. Shut up and get out before you get hurt.”

 Another Wells Fargo Contaminated Property

Roys house 5410 NW 26th Avenue Gainesville FL, 32609: contamination is fully documented for ongoing lawsuits

The owner of this heavily contaminated home, Mr. Roy Geiersbach, frequently testified before City and County officials about Wells Fargo’s nondisclosure. When Mr. Geiersbach received anonymous threats he went to the FBI and the US Department of Justice detailing the threats and a hit and run attempt on his life. He spoke out about his toxic exposure illnesses and loved ones lost to cancers caused by his contaminated property, asking “How many more have to die?”

Another of the properties transferred to Fannie Mae and sold without disclosure is 514 NW 33rd Avenue. The new homeowners found out about the home’s contamination only after moving in. This family left their toxic home within weeks of the discovery. The previous residents moved after two family members were diagnosed with cancer.

Stumpf PosterWhy has Wells Fargo abandoned their stated visions and values?
Wells Fargo needs to honor their mission statement and put their money where their mouth is.

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Beazer East to Gainesville Residents: So Long Suckers

4 Sep

Unhappy homeowners in Superfund Neighborhoods across the US that received topsoil replacement report that they have had to spend thousands of dollars replacing the cheap materials hastily laid in their yards and repairing damage to their homes caused by corporate polluter contractors. EPA staff stopped returning homeowners phone calls and emails for assistance after topsoil replacement was finished.

“We’re not coming back.”
Last year, Beazer East executive Mitchell Brourman told Gainesville’s City Commission that BE will not remediate any remaining/recurring Koppers contamination after the current topsoil replacement is completed. According to Mr. Brourman they’re done even if soil replacement fails. Any problems, from recontamination to property damage caused by Beazer East contractors, will be left to homeowners to deal with at their own expense. Stephen Foster residents with replaced topsoil are already reporting that Beazer East contractors and EPA staff are not responding to them when contacted regarding problems caused by their “cleanup”.

 1DirtPileOnSiteClean soil for families’ lawns sits surrounded by toxic storm water on Koppers Superfund Site.

 

2TrailFromKoppersContaminated storm water runoff leaves visible trails from Koppers Superfund Site into Stephen Foster Neighborhood.

 

3WesternBorderTrail Looking into SFN from Koppers Superfund western border.

 

4AnotherSFNTrail Toxic runoff into another SFN street with lawns that have newly replaced topsoil.

 

5AnotherSFNTrail2 Another street where Koppers contaminated storm water washes down the avenue into newly cleaned yards.

 

6RemediatedYardFlooded Newly remediated yard flooded by toxic superfund water.

 

Beazer East & EPA: Keeping Gainesville Toxic with a Little Help from AMEC

19 Jun

The United States has recovered more than 19 million from AMEC in damages and penalties to settle litigation regarding fraud, false claims and kickbacks on Federal contracts in Sacramento, San Francisco, St. Louis and New Jersey.

At the World Trade Center, AMEC destroyed very important evidence during the clean-up.  This and the tampering witnessed by many residents in our neighborhood render AMEC’s soils test results false and unacceptable and Un-American.  Why are we entrusting the health and the lives of Gainesville’s children to AMEC?

The “Raw Deal” as acknowledged by this Commission earlier this year really gives us a toxic waste dump.  Dumping additional toxic residential soil on top of the already contaminated superfund site allows creosote, and other Koppers chemicals to continue to contaminate our drinking water, the Floridan Aquifer.

Removing one foot of polluted soil and entombing residents in toxic homes does nothing to protect families.  Officials already know that in some homes two to four feet and even twenty to forty feet of toxic soil have already been replaced with clean soil, only to find out later that the replacement soil is just as contaminated as the original soil.

According to Beazer East employee Mitch Brourman, this clean-up is “the best clean-up ever in the nation”.  No, EPA and Beazer East, this is NOT “the best clean-up ever” and it is NOT protective of Gainesville residents and our city.  This is nothing more than a criminal cover-up that is Keeping Gainesville Toxic.  We need and want out of our toxic homes!

Residents want to thank Todd Chase: he is the only City Commissioner that fully understood the implications of accepting this cover-up/raw deal.  We are grateful to him for voting against it.  This Raw Deal will forever stamp Gainesville with the stigma of Toxic City.

Ron Hodill

 

Another Family Rejects Beazer East/EPA’s Dangerous and Disingenuous “off-site soil remedial action”

4 Jun

Scott Miller, Remedial Project Manager
Superfund Remedial Branch
USEPA Region 4
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street
Atlanta, GA 30303

May 15, 2013

Mr. Miller et al,

We still do not grant access to our property, parcel 08409-000-000, to Beazer East, Inc./Koppers Inc., Tetra Tech, MACTEC (AMEC), Kestrel Ecological Services, or any other entities or individuals working on behalf of Beazer East, Inc., US EPA, FL DOH or FL DEP for soil sampling or any other activity related to the dangerous and disingenuous “off-site soil remedial action”.

Let us again plainly state that we are not participating in any phase of EPA’s and Beazer East’s “off-site soil remediation”.  As you well know, in our neighborhood it has been repeatedly illustrated that clean replacement soils quickly become as contaminated as the replaced soils, sometimes even more contaminated.  Further, your “remediation” fails to address the greater, more immediate danger posed to our families by the dioxin-saturated interiors of our homes. 

We refuse to participate in your purely cosmetic psychological exercise designed to deceive residents into the false belief that our homes and gardens will no longer be a serious toxic threat to our families.  This includes any and all phases of the soil scraping and cover-up that you are trying to force on innocent residents in lieu of providing the real protective action that our suffering community needs and deserves.

Please inform your contractors: NO employee of Tetra Tech, MACTEC (AMEC), Kestrel Ecological Services, Beazer East, Inc./Koppers Inc., US EPA, FL DOH or FL DEP may trespass our property at any time without both our explicit permission and our actual physical presence while you are there.  This prohibition also applies to any employees of Alachua County or the City of Gainesville intending to trespass our property for any activities connected to the “off-site soil remediation” in Stephen Foster Neighborhood.

Please contact attorney Stephen Murakami, as instructed in this email which you received on July 6, 2012:

Dear Mr. Miller:
I believe my client has made it abundantly clear by her unequivocal instructions and notice set forth in her message, that she does not wish to participate in any additional soil or dust sampling conducted by you or any of your agents or contractors.  In the future, should you require any information pertaining to the Kennedy’s property, kindly contact me in advance of any attempt to secure the Kennedy’s permission or authorization to enter upon their property for any purpose.
Sincerely,
Stephen David Murakami, Esq.
Attorney at Law

 

Please reply to our email so that we know that you understand its contents.

Sincerely,

Sandra Watts Kennedy and Kevin Kennedy

Spread the Word, Come on Out and Raise your Voice: Koppers Consent Decree Added to March 7th City Commission Meeting Agenda

6 Mar

Residents have been notified that the City of Gainesville is adding EPA’s Proposed Consent Decree/”Cleanup Plan” for Koppers to the agenda for tomorrow evening’s Commission meeting (Thursday, March 7th).  The modified agenda with this addition will be posted on the city website this afternoon.  This meeting presents a new chance to urge city commissioners to reject US EPA’s coverup plan that is non-protective of our drinking water and our families!

No Arsenic- No Dioxin- No PAHs!

Dig it up- Clean it up- and Take it away!!!

Our children need a Real Cleanup- not a Coverup!!!

 

Consent Decree published: Last Chance to ask the Feds for a Real Cleanup

21 Feb

The Proposed Consent Decree/Final Cleanup Plan for the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site was posted in the Federal Register on February 13, 2013. The posting of this notice opened a brief period for public comment on the Consent Decree.

This is the last opportunity to submit our comments directly to the US  District Court for the Northern District of Florida, who will make the final decision on whether to approve  the Consent Decree.  Comments must be submitted no later than March 14, 2013.

Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to “United States of America v. Beazer East, Inc. Civil Action No. 1:13cv29-SPM-GRJ; D.J. Ref. No. 90-11-2-622/1”. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail.

Send your comments to:

The Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division

Refer to:

United States of America v. Beazer East, Inc. Civil Action No. 1:13cv29-SPM-GRJ; D.J. Ref. No. 90-11-2-622/1

Email:  pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov

Mail:   Assistant Attorney General, US DOJ-ENRD

               PO Box 7611

Washington, DC 20044-7611

During the public comment period, the Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Website: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.