Tag Archives: harassment

City’s Superfund Cost Recovery Another Failure

4 Feb

 Some preliminary work on infrastructure in the Stephen Foster neighborhood. This property is contaminated and did not have topsoil replacement. No precautions were taken during this digging.

Some preliminary work on infrastructure in the Stephen Foster neighborhood. This property is contaminated and did not have topsoil replacement. No precautions were taken during this digging.

The City of Gainesville recently settled with Beazer East for less than half of the city’s original cost-recovery claims regarding the Koppers Superfund site. Out of approximately $1.8M tax-payer money spent, Gainesville now stands to recoup a paltry $674,500. In return, the city agreed to release Beazer East from any and all cost recovery claims related to Koppers contamination. This latest example of the City of Gainesville’s nonexistent business acumen brings to mind the disastrous, money-losing biomass plant negotiations. Once again, the tax-payers are on the hook to pay the rest of the bill for a slick multi-national multi-billion dollar corporation. And, once again, public and environmental health is sacrificed by this City Commission who repeatedly put Beazer East’s bottom line over the welfare of its own citizens. During the meeting, Commissioner Wells remarked that the city had expected Beazer East to have done some of the improvements to the infrastructure in the remediation area as part of the cleanup. So in actuality, the city is using the settlement money to do what Beazer East was supposed to do before paying the cost-recovery claim. Sounds like a total loss for the city’s coffers.

The one shining beacon in last Thursday’s Commission meeting was when Mayor Braddy brought up the alternate consideration of using the settlement money to help relocate contaminated households. This suggestion was immediately discarded by a unanimous vote in favor of spending the settlement money to replace water lines and repave roads in areas of Stephen Foster Neighborhood where some properties had topsoil replacement. When will this idea of relocation be re-visited or developed? Not only does the Commission’s decision have no immediate benefit to the sick and dying residents in the area, it actually adds to their suffering by exposing more contaminated soil during the reconstruction process.

While replacing the infrastructure, city workers are being exposed to more contaminated soil that was not replaced. What kind of employee health plan does the city offer? And how does the city plan to keep toxic soil disturbed by this activity from recontaminating newly remediated properties? Beazer East has already said it won’t be coming back if more contamination surfaces, and now the city has negotiated away any legal recourse it may have had.

There is another less tangible and more sinister side to this “reinvestment” to infrastructure in the offsite remediation zone: it benefits non-resident property investors looking to make a killing when the redevelopment occurs. In fact, plans are already underway for onsite redevelopment at this very moment. No need to update roads and water works when the city (taxpayers) has already done it, and paid for it. Greedy sharks are circling while toxic trespass gets a beautification band-aid.

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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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HUD Helps Banks Unload Koppers Toxic Homes

23 Aug

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is selling Dioxin-Arsenic-PAH contaminated houses in Gainesville Superfund neighborhoods- and failing to disclose the dangerous contamination to unsuspecting low income families buying these toxic homes.
As established residents abandon the homes that have made their families sick, banks foreclose on the Koppers health hazard homes. Homeowners contact their lenders who have knowingly sold them non-disclosed contaminated homes, seeking cooperation with exit strategies for their families’ safety. The banks immediately respond with foreclosure.
Since federal regulations prohibit banks from dealing in contaminated properties, they need a back door to discard these Superfund homes. These banks, including Wells Fargo, BOA and JP Morgan, having already profited from financing and foreclosing on the toxic housing, wash their hands of this PR nightmare by “transferring” the deadly domiciles to HUD for disposal. In response to residents’ questions about the sale of hazardous homes, HUD states that they routinely sell contaminated houses with impunity because they are not required to disclose. Taxpayer-funded HUD oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Selling toxic homes to low income families contradicts HUD’s published directives to protect consumers and improve their quality of life.
Unprincipled local realtors knowingly sell Gainesville Superfund homes on HUD’s behalf. The City of Gainesville and Alachua County Commissions have warned realtors including Bosshardt, Watson Realty and MM Parrish/Coldwell Banker against selling Koppers contaminated properties without providing the legally (and morally) required disclosure to potential homebuyers and renters. But upset new homeowners and renters are still reporting that Koppers contamination was not disclosed to them. Several of these families are already moving out of the area.
Many Gainesville Koppers contaminated homes sold by HUD were previously independently tested. These test results were submitted as evidence in foreclosure court records, and are public documents. Test results for some contaminated homes, including the addresses below, can be found on the Clerk of Court Public Record. Some of these contaminated foreclosed homes have already been sold without disclosure.
514 NW 31st Lane
3507 NW 4th Street
501 NW 28th Avenue
514 NW 33rd Avenue
425 NW 37th Avenue

Is Gainesville the Next Love Canal?

13 Aug

Beazer East says they have finished their “cleanup” of Stephen Foster Neighborhood, but a newly updated Center for Public Integrity report shows that Gainesville’s Koppers Superfund Site is still one of the 114 most dangerous Superfund Sites in the nation. Despite EPA claims, human exposure and contaminated groundwater migration continue in communities surrounding Koppers, as they do in communities like Escambia FL, Libby MT, Love Canal NY, and other Superfund neighborhoods that received similar topsoil replacement- these “cleanups” do not work and are not protective of residents’ health in the short or the long-term.

KOPGVL114 Most Dangerous Superfund Sites

Beazer East hired Sevenson Environmental Services to handle the contaminated soil removal in Stephen Foster Neighborhood in Gainesville. Love Canal families who moved in after the EPA told them it was safe and clean are now suing Sevenson, the city of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Falls Water Board, and Occidental Chemical Corp for negligence in the original cleanup more than 30 years ago.

Sevenson

 Koppers water migration

Among the deluge of resident complaints are reports of Sevenson workers leaving contaminated topsoil around trees and house foundations in Stephen Foster Neighborhood, creating massive islands of toxic soil in the new topsoil. The pooled water in the photo above is one example of contaminated groundwater that migrated directly from Koppers Superfund Site into the newly dug, “clean” area.

SFN Toxic Soil Foundations              SFN Toxic Soil Islands

Hazardous Residential Yard Waste   Hazmat Tag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hazardous Residential Waste- WCA (City of Gainesville trash pickup) could not collect residential yard waste across from 514 NW 31st Lane: because it is hazardous waste, they tagged it for Hazmat handling. Months earlier, Beazer East had announced that this block was completely cleaned up!

 

NEW AND ENLIGHTENING WEBSITE IS A MUST-SEE FOR GAINESVILLE RESIDENTS

6 Jul

Koppers Plain Talk explores the science of Gainesville’s Superfund Site, shedding light on the health effects of its toxins.

EPA’s 2009 chart documenting the health effects of Koppers contaminants of concern is particularly informative- and alarming. To view this document, go to koppersplaintalk.com, choose The Science tab and scroll to the bottom. Check out the rest of this educational site.

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Environmental Injustice: The Unfolding Tale of Two Florida Superfund Sites

13 Apr

ej comparison