For 93 years, Koppers Inc. operated a 90-acre industrial facility at 200 NW 23rd Ave. The area is now ranked as one of the nation’s top-100 polluted sites. In 1983, it was declared by the Environmental Protection Agency to be a Superfund site – a place so heavily polluted with toxic waste that it poses a threat to human health and the environment.For decades, Koppers released industrial toxins into Gainesville’s air, water and soil, including arsenic, hexavalent chromium, creosote and dioxins. Combined, these chemicals can cause cancer, rare diseases, changes in DNA and birth defects.
There’s a 500-foot buffer around the site, including ABC Liquor, Ward’s Supermarket, the Salvation Army, a daycare center and dozens of homes, which the City of Gainesville designated an “area of special environmental concern” in 2005.