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Escambia Wood - Pensacola


Aerial view of site June 2010
- Additional Site Photos
- 2008 Site Video
- 2010 Site Video

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FLD008168346
Location: Pensacola, Escambia County, FL
Lat/Long: 30.455300, -87.231700
Congressional District: 01
NPL Status: Proposed: 08/23/1994; Final: 12/16/1994
Affected Media: Soil, Ground water
Cleanup Status: construction activities are complete
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Ground water Migration Under Control: No
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Erik Spalvins (spalvins.erik@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Escambia Wood (Pensacola) site includes the former facility where the Escambia Wood Treating Company manufactured treated wood products from 1942 until 1982 and some nearby former neighborhoods. The soil contamination from the site has been addressed and does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. The groundwater contamination at the site is under investigation and does not currently threaten people because drinking water is supplied by the public water supply. EPA and FDEP will continue to protect people and the environment by continuing the cleanup, monitoring the site and undertaking Five-Year Reviews of the cleanup.

Site Location and Background

The Escambia Treating Company (ETC) site is located at 3910 North Palafox Street, Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida. The former ETC facility is located in a mixed industrial and residential area, bordered on the north by former residential neighborhoods, on the west by Palafox Street, on the east by a Railroad Switchyard, and on the south by an abandoned concrete plant and small industrial park. The ETC site includes the 26-acre former facility and about 69 acres of the nearby former residential areas. The Agrico Superfund site is located about a quarter mile southeast of the site.

From 1942 until 1982, the Escambia Wood Treating Company manufactured treated utility poles, foundation pilings and lumber with creosote and pentachlorophenol (PCP). Operations generated wastewater that was stored on site in impoundments. In 1991, the company filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the facility. In October 1991, EPA began a removal action to stabilize the site, excavate contaminated materials and to estimate the amount of material to be dealt with in future phases of the cleanup. The removal action was completed in 1992. The excavated material (225,000 cubic yards) was stockpiled on-site and secured under a heavy duty geomembrane cover. 

In 1994, EPA listed the site on the NPL. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994 because of contaminated soil and ground water resulting from facility operations. EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in soil and ground water that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices.  Contaminants of concern found on or immediately adjacent to the facility property include creosote, PCP, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), naphthalene and dioxin. Site-attributable polyaromatic hydrocarbons and dioxin were identified on surrounding residential tracts.  Naphthalene and pentachlorophenol are the primary contaminants found in groundwater.

As of 2010, EPA successfully cleaned up soil contamination in the former facility area and former residential areas.

The EPA is investigating ground water contamination which remains on site and off site. People do not use wells in the contaminated area as a drinking water source

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has listed the site and nearby surrounding area as a ground water delineation area, which means all wells placed in the area require the District’s approval.

EPA considered children’s health issues as part of the site’s risk assessment.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA leads site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with FDEP.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on two areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: contaminated soil; and OU-2: contaminated ground water.

In 1997, EPA issued an interim cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

In 2006, EPA issued the final cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

In 2008, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-2. The plan included the following activities:

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the RODs.

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Cleanup Progress

During the 1991 to 1992 Removal Action, EPA dug up 225,000 cubic yards of contaminated material and placed it under a heavy duty geomembrane cover on site.

In June 1995, EPA nominated the Escambia site as part of a National Relocation Evaluation Pilot. The pilot was used to help develop a national relocation policy and understand when relocation should be used in addressing the health threats posed by Superfund sites in a way that reflects community interests, while at the same time making cost-effective and technically sound remedial decisions. EPA began the interim remedy in 1997, relocating 358 households. The government acquired 158 single-family homes, a 200-unit apartment complex and 11 vacant residential lots, successfully relocating over 500 people to comparable replacement housing. EPA completed demolition of the properties and disposal of associated waste materials in 2005. In 2006, EPA identified an additional 46 households affected by contamination. From 2006 until 2009, EPA permanently relocated these households.

EPA began the final soil cleanup in 2007. The Agency dug up, stockpiled and placed contaminated soil and debris in a 550,000-cubic-yard containment cell. EPA also installed a drainage system above the containment cell. During cleanup activities, EPA conducted air monitoring, dust control and site restoration to minimize additional effects on the surrounding community. By 2010, EPA had completed major cleanup activities for OU-1.

EPA selected cleanup activities for OU-2 in 2008. The Agency then identified a dense non-aqueous phase liquid source that will require additional cleanup and an amendment to the OU-2 cleanup plan (the ROD). EPA plans to complete the ROD Amendment in 2014.

The site’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2012, found that the cleanup for OU-1 continues to protect people and the environment in the short term. The Five-Year Review recommended the placement of institutional controls on the site for the cleanup to remain protective over the long term. The EPA placed institutional controls on the federally acquired property in early 2014 andis discussing institutional controls with the owners of the former facility.
Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

In 1991, Escambia Wood Treating Company filed for bankruptcy and abandoned its facility on site. The company defaulted on its environmental liabilities and the U.S. Department of Justice pursued a settlement with the owners. The Department reached a final settlement with the owners in 2002.

EPA used federal funds for site cleanup activities. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided $3.5 million to EPA for the cleanup. EPA continues to fund site cleanup activities.

RODs and Five-Year Reviews online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA has worked with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term 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, interviews and information meetings.

In 1999, EPA entered into a cooperative agreement with the Escambia County Community Redevelopment Agency to identify the community’s potential future land use plans for the site. EPA took the community’s conceptual redevelopment plan for the site into account as part of the remedial investigation/feasibility study for OU-1. EPA completed the cleanup design for OU-1 in collaboration with the community.

EPA also provided the community with two Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs) to support technical advisors for OU-1 cleanup activities.

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Future Work

EPA is prepared to transfer the federally acquired property to the State of Florida.

Planning for the OU-2 cleanup is ongoing. EPA plans to complete the ROD Amendment for OU-2 in 2014.

EPA completed the most recent Five-Year Review in 2012 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2017.

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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

West Florida Regional Library
200 West Gregory St.
Pensacola, FL 32501

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