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Susie Tolbert Elementary toxic soil cleanup complete, EPA says

Arsenic removed from soil after contamination from wood treatment plant

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A toxic soil cleanup at Susie Tolbert Elementary School in Jacksonville is finished, U.S. environmental authorities announced Tuesday.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) conducted the cleanup, under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The cleanup involved the removal of soil containing arsenic and restoration of the property. 

The Fairfax Street Wood Treaters site is in a predominantly residential area of Jacksonville owned by Fairfax Land Management, Inc., and was formerly used as a wood treating facility.

From 1980 to 2010, the facility pressure-treated utility poles, pilings, heavy timber, and plywood lumber products using the wood treating preservative chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Some of the CCA preservative dripped onto the ground during the wood treating, which resulted in soil and sediment contamination.

The arsenic levels detected in the soil were well below the EPA Removal Management Level and did not pose an imminent threat to public health or the environment. Additionally, as a result of cleanup activities, the impacted soil has now been excavated and removed from the site.

Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a top priority to advance the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment.

You can find more information on EPA's cleanup work at the Fairfax Street Wood Treaters site here.