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Cascade Park Gasification Plant/Landfill

National Information


Cascade Park Gasification Plant/Landfill site

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FLD981931959
Location: Tallahassee, Leon County, FL
Lat/Long: 30.260179, -84.164565
NPL Status: Superfund Alternative Site
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil, Sediment
Cleanup Status: Removal activities have been completed, remediation of ground water is on-going
Human Exposure Under Control: NA
Groundwater Migration Under Control: NA
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: NA
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: The Site is in use as a combination storm water facility and public park.
Site Manager: Erik Spalvins (spalvins.erik@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Cascade Park Gasification Plant/Landfill site includes an area where a manufactured gas plant operated from 1895 until the 1950s. The site also includes a former athletic field, Centinnial Field. EPA did not list the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) but considers it an NPL-caliber site and is addressing the site through the Superfund Alternative Approach. The Responsible Parties for the site are the State of Florida and the City of Tallahassee, who are responsible for the cleanup. The City of tallahassee and State of Florida removed more than 98,000 tons of contaminated material from the former gas plan and placed a cap over the landfill. the City and County worked through an Intergovernmental Agency, Blueprint 2000, to plan a 26-acre park and storm water management facility that encompasses the former MGP and the former Centennial Field.

In 2008, EPA awarded the site Region 4's "Excellence in Site Reuse" award, an honor given to those who go above and beyond in their Superfund site redevelopment efforts. In April 2010, the City began building Cascade Park which includes trails, playgrounds, a 16-foot waterfall, interactive fountains, a war memorial, and a state-of-the-art amphitheater for concerts and community events. On March 14, 2014, the City opened the park with a kickoff ceremony with over a thousand people in attendance.

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Site Location and Background

The 10-acre site, located in downtown Tallahassee, Florida, encompasses three parcels; a former landfill (Area of Concern [AOC] 1), a former manufactured gas plant (MGP) that operated between 1890 and the late 1950s (AOC 2), and the former Centennial Field (AOC 3). Commercial buildings border the site to the north, east and west. Residential areas border the site to the south. The City of Tallahassee owned and operated both the manufactured gas plant and the landfill. The State of Florida owned the area from 1971 to 2004.

View site map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site contamination does not threaten people living and working near the site. Residences and businesses in the area are connected to the public water supply. Past investigations found contamination in ground water, soil and sediment. Contamination resulted from operations and waste handling practices at the MGP facility. Contaminants of concern include light and heavy oils, coal tars, sludges, ash, ammonia, cyanide, lime wastes, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and naphthalene.

The City of Tallahassee removed contaminated soil from the site starting 2006. As park construction began in 2010, contractors removed contaminated soil as it was encountered. In total, more than 95,000 tons of contaminated soil was removed from the site.  Soil contamination no longer poses a threat to human health.

Limited ground water contamination remains at the site. People and businesses near the site use the public water supply and ground water contamination does not pose a threat. The Northwest Florida Water Management District has placed additional restrictions on the use of groundwater in the area through their ground water delineation area program.

EPA found that vapor intrusion of contaminants from the ground water into buildings does not pose a threat to residents or workers.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The City of Tallahassee leads site investigation and cleanup activities with oversight provided by EPA.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 2004, EPA signed an Action Memorandum, which authorized cleanup activities to address the contamination at the site and described EPA’s preferred plan for addressing it. The plan included the following activities:

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Cleanup Progress

In 1989, EPA conducted an investigation and assessment of the site.

In 1998, the site’s PRPs agreed to perform an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis for the site. In 2002, EPA finalized the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis Report.

The PRP conducted cleanup activities through a Removal Action in 2005 and 2006, including digging up contaminated soil and sediment and capping the landfill area. Additional contaminated soil was excavated during park construction. In total, the City removed more than 95,000 tons of contaminated soil.

In 2011 EPA determined that monitored natural attenuation would not be an effective means of addressing the groundwater contamination at the site. In 2012, the City of Tallahassee began the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) activities to evaluate groundwater cleanup options. The City conducted lab and field pilot tests to evaluate technologies. In 2014, the City provided a Treatability Study Report presenting the results.  The park construction removed additional contaminated soil and changed some of the groundwater dynamics, making additional monitoring necessary. Once results of the additional monitoring are analyzed, EPA will select a preferred remedy for addressing the groundwater contamination.


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Enforcement Activities

The City and the State of Florida jointly investigated the site initially. In 1998, EPA entered into a legal agreement with the PRPs agreed to conduct an engineering evaluation/cost analysis to fully investigate site-related contamination. In 2004, the EPA and PRPs entered into an agreement for the Removal Action. In 2011, EPA and the PRPs negotiated an agreements to perform a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for the site. The PRP continues to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

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Community Involvement

EPA has worked with the community and other stakeholders to develop a cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included fact sheets, public notices and information meetings. EPA will continue to hold public meetings as appropriate as the investigation concludes and the EPA presents the cleanup plan.

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Future Work

Ground water monitoring is ongoing. The site's PRP is conducting a remedial investigation/feasibility study to evaluate methods to address contaminated groundwater.

EPA plans to issue a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD)to address ground water contamination following the completion of the remedial investigation/feasibility study.


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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Leon County Public Library
200 West Park Avenue
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

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