EPA Says No Health Risks in Homes Near Koppers Superfund Site as Residents Allege a Cover-Up
Published December 6th, 2012
GAINESVILLE - The Environmental Protection Agency is recommending no additional clean-up measures take place inside homes near the Cabot Koppers Superfund site. It's just the latest development in the long-running battle between the EPA and members of the Stephen Foster neighborhood, which is located next to the site.
Back in May of this year, officials from the EPA took indoor dust samples from multiple homes in the neighborhood located right next to the former wood-treatment site. The EPA also took samples from homes far away from site in order to compare the results.
In letters mailed out to residents late last week, the EPA says dioxin levels found inside homes near the site posed no immediate risk to human health. The letter goes on to say that dioxin levels found inside those homes next to the site were not far off from level found in homes away from the site.
One resident who had his home tested says he doesn't trust these results, and thinks it's part of a bigger cover-up by both Beazer East, Inc., the company that now owns the Superfund site, and the EPA. "I don't think that they're telling the truth, because of the simple fact that it's a 98 year old site, and they've been dumping on the site for so many years," says Rick Bolton, a 25-year resident of the neighborhood. "They're trying to cover it up. And after 98 years of dumping toxins on the property, I cannot sit here in my right mind and say that they're right," says Bolton.
Maria Parsons, a member of the Stephen Foster Neighborhood Protection Group, accuses the EPA of covering-up the true dioxin levels in an effort to make the issue go away. Parsons says the fact that any dioxins were found in these homes is very telling. She says residents have hired outside agencies to conduct their own testing as part of a lawsuit, and that their tests showed much higher dioxin levels.
Meantime, people at the Alachua County Health Department say they're working with the state Department of Health to analyze the EPA's findings, and determine if any health threats exist from long-term exposure to these dioxins. Their full report is due out sometime in January.
- Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site Update
- Cabot Kopper Superfund Site
- Cabot Koppers Superfund Site "Open House"
- Health Department Notifies Cabot- Kopper Site Neighbors About Health Risks
- Gainesville Residents Voice Concerns at Cabot-Kopper Site Meeting
- Residents Speak Out Against Koppers Superfund Site
- Residents Protest Koppers Superfund Site
- Residents Tour Koppers Superfund Site
- Community Response to the EPA's Cabot-Koppers Clean Up Plan
- City and County Meet to Discuss Future of Koppers Superfund Site