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NPL Site Narrative for Agrico Chemical Co.

Pensacola, Florida

Federal Register Notice:  October 04, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): Agrico Chemical Co. covers approximately 6 acres in Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, approximately 2 miles southwest of Pensacola Municipal Airport. The L & N Railway Yard lies directly to the west and an abandoned quarry lies to the north. Activity at this plant began in 1889 by a company that produced sulfuric acid from iron pyrite. About 1920, Agrico Chemical Co. began producing fertilizer from phosphate rock. In 1959, Agrico stopped production, tore down the buildings, and sold the land. The site now consists of foundations of five buildings, including a fertilizer factory, a storage and shipping warehouse, and a plant where phosphate was processed to produce fluorine. North and east of the foundations lie four ponds that were used to store waste liquid from the manufacture of fertilizer. The capacity of the ponds exceeds 36,000 cubic yards.

In 1958, a municipal water well 1.25 miles east-southeast of the site was closed due to high acidity and fluoride concentrations.

In 1983, EPA detected lead, sulfuric acid, and fluorides in water from the ponds. The lead may be the result of pipe and tank corrosion from sulfuric acid.

The primary aquifer underlying the site is the Sand and Gravel Aquifer, a 280-foot layer of poorly sorted, coarse-grained quartz sand. Horizontal and vertical permeabilities in this type of formation are generally very high, which facilitates the movement of contaminants into ground water, as well as the movement of contaminated ground water. Since ground water flows toward the east-southeast, this plume of contaminated ground water could migrate into Bayou Texar or Pensacola Bay.

The Sand and Gravel Aquifer, which serves 13 Escambia County Utilities Authority wells within 3 miles of the site, is the primary source of drinking water for an estimated 114,000 people.

Status (October 4, 1989): EPA is investigating the possibility that potentially responsible parties will conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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