GAINESVILLE – After 30 years of delays, a federal judge has officially signed off on the consent decree to clean-up contaminated soil, both on and off the Cabot Koppers Superfund site.
The judge’s signature clears the way for the remediation plan to begin as soon as next year.
The plan calls for contaminated soil to be stored underneath an impermeable covering at the site. In addition, as many as 90 nearby homes will have up to a foot of top soil removed, which will be replaced with new landscaping.
Members of the Stephen Foster Neighborhood Association applaud the move. “The EPA has gone as far as they are allowed to go by statue,” said Robert Pearce, president of the neighborhood association. “It’s time to get going,” he said, referencing the decades-worth of site testing and and public discussion that it took to get to this point.
Pearce says while he is not happy that residents were put in this situation, he feels as though the clean-up plan properly addresses the problem, and makes sure that the harmful dioxins do not cause any more damage to the surrounding community.