Media Release

Koppers Hazardous Waste Site (Additional Offsite Soil Samples)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:15 AM

This press release put out at the request of the Alachua County Health Department.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Health Department has reviewed the dioxin test results of six additional surface soil samples that were recently analyzed from the right-of-ways of NW 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, and 32nd Avenues, Gainesville.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required this additional testing approximately 300' feet west of the Koppers hazardous waste site after finding potentially hazardous levels of dioxins in the City of Gainesville easement along the site boundary. The levels of dioxins in three of the samples between NW 26th and NW 29th Avenue are above  State of Florida residential standards. These additional samples indicate a continued decrease in the concentrations of dioxins from previous testing in June approximately 200' west of Koppers and in February 2009, approximately 100' west of the Koppers site in the same street right-of-ways where levels of dioxins, arsenic and benzo-a-pyrene were above state residential standards.

Incidental ingestion (swallowing) of very small amounts of dioxin contaminated surface soil at these three locations is not likely to cause harm. The Health Department continues to recommend area residents practice good general hygiene including hand washing with soap and water after contact with bare soil in areas within 300' west of the Koppers facility western boundary fence.

These test results do not affect the current Health Department Advisory.  The Health Department continues to recommend that children should avoid playing in the 15'-20' City of Gainesville easement just west of the Koppers facility western boundary fence between NW 26 Avenue and NW 30 Avenue.  Children under the age of six are at a higher risk of exposure from incidental ingestion (swallowing).

The Health Department will continue to evaluate the health risks as more test data becomes available.

For more information, contact Alachua County Health Department Environmental Health Director Anthony Dennis at 352-334-7930.

For toxicology information, contact the Florida Department of Health, Health Assessment Team Leader Randy Merchant toll free at 877-798-2772. To contact Scott Miller, United States Environmental Protection Agency Section Chief in charge of this Superfund Site project, call 404-562-9120.

The goal of the Alachua County Health Department is to promote, protect, maintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).