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Fairfax Street Wood Treaters (FSWT) site is located at 2610 Fairfax Street in Jacksonville, Florida. The 12-acre property is in a dense residential area, adjacent to two elementary schools, a day care center and several homes.

From 1980 to 2010, Wood Treaters, LLC pressure treated utility poles, pilings and other lumber products using the preservative chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Wood Treaters, LLC filed for bankruptcy, and by July 2010 ceased operations and abandoned the facility. Seven above ground storage tanks, in poor condition, contained high levels of arsenic, chromium and copper. In August 2010, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requested the EPA's assistance in mitigating the release of hazardous substances to the environment.

Wood treated with CCA drip-dried on the property, resulting in arsenic, chromium and copper contamination. During operations, some contaminated storm water flowed off the site and onto surrounding properties including a parking lot retention pond and Moncrief Creek. Wood treatment operations resulted in soil, water and sediment contamination with chromium, copper and arsenic.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

EPA leads site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and the Florida Department of Health.

EPA conducted removal actions, or short-term cleanups, in 2010 and 2011. These actions included:

  • removing contaminated soil on the Susie E. Tolbert Elementary School playground located near fence line with the site;
  • removing contaminated water and sediment from the retention pond on the school property;
  • removing contaminated soil from unpaved parts of the former wood-treating facility;
  • treating and disposing of more than 150,000 gallons of contaminated water;
  • cleaning and removing chemical storage tanks, containment area and piping;
  • removing contaminated soil from three residential properties;
  • covering exposed soils with previously cleaned EPA gravel to prevent the spread of contamination through dust and stormwater runoff;
  • transporting contaminated soil, sludge and debris off site for proper disposal; and
  • repairing and placing a lock on site fencing.

EPA proposed the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in March 2012 and finalized it on the NPL in September 2012. During the 2011 to 2013 timeframe, EPA conducted an extensive Remedial Investigation (RI), to define the nature and extent of the contamination. In addition, a Risk Assessment (RA) was conducted to define the risks posed by the contamination and identify the areas that required clean up. The RI and RA have been completed.

EPA evaluated different technologies that will be used to clean up the site. This was documented in the Feasibility Study (FS). After completing the FS, the EPA issued a proposed long-term remedy to address any additional contamination and mitigate risk to people and the environment. After receiving input from FDEP and the community, the EPA issued the final long-term remedy for the site in the Record of Decision (ROD) that was signed on August 22, 2017.

EPA has determined in the Risk Assessment, that the site poses a risk to humans from exposure to contaminated soil on residential properties and has designated the site as Human Exposure Not Under Control. Please see the section titled "What is the Current Site Status?" for the measures that will specifically be used to address risk.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Site investigations and cleanup activities are focused on the on-site 12.5-acre parcel--where wood treating operations took place and the off-site 52 residential properties are identified as part of the cleanup. Construction activities have begun. These on-site activities include tearing down the on-site structures, digging up soil and loading it on to trucks for landfill disposal, backfilling with clean soil, as well as removing sediment from the retention pond, and site restoration. Two crews are working, at the same time, on two different residential properties. The on-site and off-site work is being performed concurrently.

Fairfax Site R4 Panoramic View

Fairfax R4 Panoramic View of Site

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Emergency Response and Removal

EPA conducted an Emergency Response and a Removal Action in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The actions taken are summarized in "What Is Being Done to Cleanup the Site?".

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Enforcement Information

Enforcing environmental laws is a central part of EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. When warranted, EPA will take civil or criminal enforcement action against violators of environmental laws.

In 2012, a federal bankruptcy court in Jacksonville, Florida approved a settlement agreement between the site’s Chapter 7 Trustee and the EPA regarding the bankruptcy of Wood Treaters, LLC. Additional enforcement efforts are on-going.

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