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Cascade Park Gasification Plant/Landfill

National Information


Cascade Park Gasification Plant/Landfill site

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FLD981931959
Location: Tallahassee, Leon County, FL
Lat/Long: 30.260179, -84.164565
NPL Status: Superfund Alternative Site
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil, Sediment
Cleanup Status: Removal activities have been completed, remediation of ground water is on-going
Human Exposure Under Control: NA
Groundwater Migration Under Control: NA
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: NA
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Not in use
Site Manager: Erik Spalvins (spalvins.erik@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Cascade Park Gasification Plant/Landfill site includes an area where a manufactured gas plant operated from 1895 until the 1950s. The site also includes a former landfill and former community recreational facility. EPA did not list the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) but considers it an NPL-caliber site and is addressing the site through the Superfund Alternative Approach. EPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the City of Tallahassee, the site’s potentially responsible party (PRP), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. A water line connects residences and businesses to the public water supply. By removing contaminated soil and monitoring ground water, EPA, FDEP and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 10-acre site is located in downtown Tallahassee, Florida. Commercial buildings border the site to the north, east and west. Residential areas border the site to the south. The site includes the area where a manufactured gas plant operated from 1895 until the late 1950s as well as a former landfill and a former community recreational facility. The landfill began operating at the site in the 1920s. The landfill accepted waste from the manufactured gas plant.

The City of Tallahassee owned and operated both the manufactured gas plant and the landfill. EPA did not list the site on the NPL but considers it an NPL-caliber site and is addressing it through the Superfund Alternative Approach. This approach uses the same investigation and cleanup process and standards used for sites listed on the NPL.

Currently, the State of Florida owns the area of the site previously occupied by the manufactured gas plant. The City of Tallahassee and Blueprint 2000, a local, taxpayer-funded Intergovernmental Agency, developed a community-wide plan for the site, linking recreational trails, community gathering places, public parks and stormwater management facilities as part of Cascade Park. The City’s Capital Cascades Trail Master Plan incorporates the planned reuse of the site.

Construction efforts are underway to build Cascade Park. In 2008, EPA awarded the site Region 4's "Excellence in Site Reuse" award.

View site map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, soil and sediment that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from operations and waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include light and heavy oils, coal tars, sludges, ash, ammonia, cyanide, lime wastes, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and naphthalene.

EPA, FDEP and the site’s PRP identified chemicals associated with manufactured gas plant waste in ground water and soil.

The City of Tallahassee removed contaminated soil from the site in 2006. Soil contamination no longer poses a threat to human health.

Ground water contamination remains at the site. People and businesses near the site use the public water supply and ground water contamination does not pose a threat.

EPA assessed whether residents or workers might be at risk from harmful ground water vapors in buildings. EPA found that vapor intrusion did not pose a threat to residents and workers.

In addition, the Northwest Florida 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.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The City of Tallahassee, the site’s PRP, leads site investigation and cleanup activities with oversight provided by EPA.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 2004, EPA signed an Action Memorandum, which authorized cleanup activities to address the contamination at the site and described EPA’s preferred plan for addressing it. The plan included the following activities:

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Cleanup Progress

In 1989, EPA conducted an investigation and assessment of the site.

In 1998, the site’s PRP agreed to perform an engineering evaluation/cost analysis for the site. In 2002, EPA finalized the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis Report.

The PRP conducted cleanup activities at the site in 2005 and 2006, including digging up contaminated soil and sediment and lining the landfill area. The PRP removed about 100,000 cubic tons of contaminated soil.

In 2011 EPA decided that monitored natural attenuation would not be an effective means of addressing the groundwater contamination at the site. In 2012, the City of Tallahassee began the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) activities, which will evaluate technologies to address the remaining groundwater contamination. In 2013, the City will provide EPA with a Treatability Study Report with the results of bench and field treatability studies performed. The report will recommend a final remedial action alternative for the Site that will be protective of human health and the environment. Based on the results of the tests, EPA will select a preferred remedy for addressing the groundwater contamination.


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Enforcement Activities

Initially, the site’s PRP and the State of Florida negotiated legal agreements to clean up the site. In 1998, EPA and the PRP entered into a legal agreement in which the PRP agreed to conduct an engineering evaluation/cost analysis to fully investigate site-related contamination and determine potential risks to public health and the environment caused by the contamination at the site.

In 2004 and 2011, EPA and the PRP negotiated additional legal agreements to investigate and clean up the site. The PRP continues to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

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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 fact sheets, public notices and information meetings. EPA also plans to hold a public meeting in 2014 following the results of the treatability study to gather public comments on the proposed cleanup plan.

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Future Work

Ground water monitoring at the site is ongoing.

EPA plans to issue a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) in 2014 to address ground water contamination following the completion of the remedial investigation/feasibility study.

The site’s PRP is conducting a remedial investigation/feasibility study to evaluate methods to address contaminated groundwater.

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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

Leon County Public Library
200 West Park Avenue
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

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