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Cabot/Koppers

Photos/Multimedia Picture of operations at Cabot/Koppers Site

On site wood operations at the Cabot/Koppers site.
- Site Video

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FLD980709356
Location: Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida
Lat/Long: 29.675000/ -082.323060
Congressional District: 05
NPL Status: Proposed: 09/08/1983; Final: 09/21/1984
Affected Media: Groundwater, Soil
Cleanup Status: Physical cleanup activities have started
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Portion of the site is in reuse – commercial land uses are located on the Cabot Carbon portion of the site
Site Manager: Scott Miller (miller.scott@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Cabot/Koppers site includes two properties, the Koppers property and the Cabot Carbon property. The Koppers property includes the area where a wood treating facility operated between 1916 and 2009. The Cabot Carbon property includes the area where a charcoal production facility operated. EPA placed the site on the  National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984 because of contaminated soil and ground water resulting from facility operations. EPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Beazer East, Inc. and Cabot Corporation, the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. A water line connects residences and businesses to the public water supply. By treating ground water, testing soil, conducting cleanup activities and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, FDEP and site PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 140-acre site is located in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida, approximately one mile east of U.S Highway 441. The site includes two properties: the Koppers area, covering 90 acres on the western side of the site, and the Cabot Carbon area, covering 50 acres on the eastern side of the site. Commercial businesses and apartments border the site to the north and south, undeveloped land borders the site to the east and single-family homes border the site to the west. The City of Gainesville’s Public Works Compound and Springstead Creek are located northwest of the site.

A wood treating facility operated on the Koppers portion of the site from 1916 until 2009. Cabot Carbon operated a charcoal production facility on the Cabot Carbon portion of the site. In 1984, EPA listed the site on the NPL. A shopping mall, car dealerships and several other stores and businesses currently operate on the Cabot Carbon portion of the site.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include arsenicpolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins/furans and creosote compounds.

In addition, the Suwannee River Water Management District has listed the site and nearby surrounding area as a ground water delineation area, which means all wells placed in the area require the District’s approval. The site is also located within the Alachua County Murphree Wellfield Protection Zone, which restricts installation of ground water wells.

EPA assessed whether people might be at risk from harmful ground water vapors in buildings on site. EPA found that vapor intrusion does not pose a threat to human health.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

Beazer East, Inc. and Cabot Corporation, the site’s PRPs, lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and FDEP.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1990, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

In 2011, EPA issued a second cleanup plan (a ROD) for the site. The plan finalized cleanup activities for the Koppers area of the site and revised the requirements included in the 1990 ROD.

Record of Decision, Summary of Remedial Alternative Selection, February 2011 (PDF) (703 pp, 47.60MB, About PDF)

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the RODs.

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Cleanup Progress

In 1994, the site’s PRPs dug up and removed contaminated soil and sediment from the Cabot area of the site. In June 1995, the PRPs completed construction of the trench that intercepts contaminated ground water from the shallow aquifer and discharges it to the local publicly owned treatment plant. In 2011, PRPs removed 116 tons of contaminated sediment from two creeks impacted by waste discharge from operations on the Cabot area of the site. The PRPs have completed cleanup activities on the Cabot area of the site.

In 1994, PRPs constructed a ground water pump-and-treat system on the Koppers area of the site. Operation and maintenance activities began in 1995. The PRPs installed and sampled two wells between the Koppers area of the site and the Gainesville Regional Utility (GRU) Murphree Wellfield. Sampling showed no detection of site-related contaminants. In 2011, PRPs completed demolition and removal of all former facility structures. The PRPs also completed stormwater system improvements, added crushed rock to roads at the site and planted grass over a large portion of the site to control dust.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRPs to investigate and clean up the site. The PRPs continue to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

The RODs and Five-Year Reviews online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA has worked with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included public notices, interviews and information meetings.

EPA holds monthly site status calls with technical representatives from the City of Gainesville, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD), GRU, Protect Gainesville Citizens, Inc. and site PRPs. Parties discuss specific cleanup plan activities and receive comments from site stakeholders. In 2008, EPA participated in a joint City of Gainesville Commission/Alachua County Commission public meeting. In 2009, EPA, Beazer East, Inc. and FDEP representatives participated in a special Gainesville City Commission meeting to discuss soil cleanup standards and possible future land use scenarios for the Koppers area of the site. Alachua County received $108,000 from EPA to sample creek sediments and to conduct a stormwater sampling study to address community concerns related to stormwater runoff and creek contamination. EPA awarded a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) to Protect Gainesville's Citizens, Inc. Exit Disclaimer to help the community participate in the site decision-making process. The group works with advisors to interpret and help the community understand technical information about the site.

Fact Sheets

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Future Work

EPA plans to place institutional controls on the Koppers area of the site. EPA completed negotiatins over a consent decree with Beazer East to conduct remedial design/remedial action activities in December 2012. 
In August 2012, Beazer East submitted a proposal to perform additional offsite soil sampling in order to complete delineation of any offsite impacts to soils of the former Koppers facility operations. The offsite soil sampling took place on October 2, 2012.

In May 2011, Beazer East submitted a workplan for implementing a full-scale in-situ geochemical stabilization (ISGS) demonstration in the former Process Area in the Upper Hawthorn aquifer. EPA expects that this demonstration project will begin in the September-October 2011 timeframe and take place for an approximately 18-month period. EPA anticipates submittal of a solidification/stabilization pilot test workplan by March 2013.

Cabot Carbon submitted a workplan for delineation of possible Cabot Site-related contaminants in groundwater of the Hawthorn Group early 2011. EPA approved this workplan, which Cabot implemented in September 2011. Results showed contamination of Hawthorn Group groundwater with Cabot Site-related contaminants in excess of groundwater cleanup standards included in the 2011 ROD. Therefore, Cabot is required to remediate the contaminated groundwater utilizing an in-situ treatment technology. Cabot has proposed, and EPA has accepted, utilizing in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) to address the groundwater contamination subject to a successful pilot study of ISCO demonstrating its effectiveness. EPA expects this pilot study to occur around September 2013.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2011 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2016

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Alachua County Library
401 E. University Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601

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