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EPA Wraps Up More Than Decade-Long Cascades Park Cleanup Project

Cascades Park in Tallahassee

The Environmental Protection Agency has completed a more than decade-long cleanup at Cascades Park. A manufactured gas plant closed more than 50 years ago had contaminated the area’s soil with chemicals.

The site held a landfill and gasification plant, which opened in the 1890s and operated until the 1950s. Erik Spalvins, a remedial project manager with the EPA, says the City has removed about 97,000 tons of contaminated soil since 2006.

“Because the removal action addressed all the risks to human health and the environment, the site meets the criteria for a no further action decision,” Spalvins said.

Spalvins says the manufactured gas plant produced groundwater contamination before today’s environmental protections were put into place.

“So the manufactured gas plant process produced a lot of different types of groundwater contamination. There was benzene, other volatile organic compounds. There was naphthalene,” Spalvins said. “And back when this plant was operating, there were not the kind of environmental protections that you would have.”

Now, the EPA will prepare an administrative record with all supporting documents on the project. It will be viewable to the public in the in Leroy Collins public library. The organization will also hold a 30-day minimum public comment period, during which another public meeting can be requested.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.