Coalition of Communities for Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is our Goal

Sylvania Heights and WE Combs Community

 

Environment Issues

 

Toxic Chemicals Released by Factories, Power Plants and Other Industrial Companies

Inadequate storm water system

Health Problems

Lead Agency

Greater Sylvania Heights Front Porch, Inc., (GSHFP), a designated Front Porch Florida Community.  The Governor’s Front Porch Florida Initiative is a community revitalization and development initiative used as a means to rebuild distressed communities.  Front Porch Florida takes up this challenge to revitalize underserved communities that are dedicated to positive cooperation and communication to make their community a better place to live, work and play.  As a designated Front Porch Community, the GSHFP is working to improve environmental, housing and other living conditions within the Sylvania Heights and neighboring communities, including the greater “Lovejoy” community.  The GSHFP is an organization comprised of neighbors in a low-income, predominantly African American area of Okaloosa County and Ft. Walton Beach which has manufacturing facilities and a large industrial park directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood. 

The Lovejoy community faces a number of environmental issues.   Located immediately adjacent to the residential neighborhood are an industrial park and several manufacturing and waste management sites.  Because the community suffers from nonexistent or inadequate stormwater facilities, heavy floodwaters wash through adjacent contaminated industrial areas and carry pollutants through residential neighborhoods, where floodwaters ultimately collect and settle.  The lack of an adequate stormwater system also causes severe flooding of the bordering Gap Creek which, when it overflows, presents a threat to both the health and property of the Lovejoy residents.  It has become obvious in the Lovejoy community that a whole host of environmental issues exist, some of which have not been fully discovered or investigated.  Some of those issues include alleged former dumpsites being used as stormwater retention ponds, former contaminated landfills further polluting stormwater runoff and perhaps the residential community, and neighboring sites known to have leaked petroleum or other harmful chemicals into the neighborhood and stormwater system.  In addition to these very substantial environmental issues, the community also faces abandoned or substandard housing and other problems. 

Under a grant and partnership with Florida A&M University, the GSHFP and WildLaw initiated a community health assessment study working with an intern from FAMU who has a public health education and background.  The purpose of this assessment was to assist in determining the specific health and environmental issues facing the community.  As evidenced by these and other surveys, the community is suffering from an alarmingly high cancer rate, and other very serious health problems. The community needs action now.

Sylvania Heights Front Porch, Inc: The Sylvania Heights community establishing itself as a Brownfields Redevelopment Area in 2010. Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands. Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has grown into a proven, results-oriented program that has changed the way contaminated property is perceived, addressed, and managed. EPA's Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment. 

 

 

 

 

Pro Bono Law Partners

WildLaw

A non-profit environmental law firm:  For every case that sets a national precedent, there are a thousand special places that need enforcement of the precedent. WildLaw strategically builds legal capacity for the people and organizations defending those places.

WildLaw mission is to defend the environmental integrity of human and natural communities through education, administrative actions, community capacity building, and litigation. 

North Florida Center for Equal Justice, Inc. (NFCFEJ)

(NFCFEJ) is a Florida not-for-profit public service law firm that serves the civil legal needs of residents of north Florida for the purpose of impacting on a large scale state and federal law and to the extent possible relative legislation.  The North Florida Center For Equal Justice was founded in 2007 with a mission of providing equal access to our judicial system to the disadvantaged families and individuals living in 16 northwest Florida counties.  NFCFEJ provides a range of services to residents within this region. Pro Bono Project: NFCFEJ works with private attorneys to further its mission and to maximize its available resources.  This important partnership provides additional assistance to clients and NFCFEJ staff lacking expertise in more complex and specialized litigation.

 

Legal Services of North Florida, Inc. (LSNF)

LSNF offers service delivery in a variety of ways. In addition to direct representation, we operate private attorney involvement and telephone advice programs, and we conduct legal clinics.  The provision of quality legal assistance is important.  LSNF has established procedures for clients to report any grievance. LSNF works closely with private attorneys throughout the sixteen county service areas to provide representation to low-income individuals. Through the Private Attorney Involvement Program (PAI) this cooperation takes several forms. The PAI Program coordinates volunteer attorneys who agree to provide direct representation by accepting one to four income eligible clients free of charge (pro bono) in most areas of civil law.

 

Potential Partners

 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ATSDR serves the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances.

Earthjustice: Water rules over much of Florida. Lakes, wetlands and rivers bring life to Florida's most important natural features: the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, and the state's mangrove forests and beaches. Our Florida office stops destructive phosphate mining in central Florida and protects the state's precious waterways from agricultural runoff, which is often laden with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

 

Local and State Government Partners

City of Frt Walton Beach

Okaloosa County

Florida Department of Community Affairs

Florida Department Environmental Protection

 

 

 

State Colleges and University Partners

 

Florida State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law and the FAMU Center for Environmental Equity and Justice

Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

University of West Florida Department of Environmental Studies

Clark University's Department of International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Community Partners

Burnette-Harmon-Wood Community Resource Center

NAACP

African American Community Leaders (AACL)

 

 

 

Environment Studies

Site History Search for Potential Brownfield Sites in the Lovejoy Community Prepared by Ecology and Environment, Inc for Florida Department of Environment Protection Under Contract #HW522

Okaloosa County Road Department, Ready Avenue (Petroleum Cleanup) Supplement Site Assessment Report Prepared by EarthTech

Chromalloy Florida and Anchors Street Contamination Assessment Report, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa County, Florida Authored by David S. Meyers, P.G. Florida Department of Environmental protection Site Investigation Section

The Love Community Revitalization Plan Prepared by Florida State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Gap Greek Watershed Water Quality Improvement project Prepared by HDR

Gap Creek Basin Study Prepared by Baskerville-Donovan Engineers, Inc.

Gap Creek Master Drainage Plan Prepared by Baskerville-Donovan Engineers, Inc.

Enironmental Justice Project: The Lovejoy Community, Fort Walton beach, Florida By Sarah Kalinoski

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Proposal Waste Management Facility Prepared by: Earth Tech, Inc.

Phase II Site Inspection Report, Ready Avenue Landfill, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa County, Florida., USEPA Site ID Number: FLD 984242792 Prepared By: ABB Environmental Services, inc.

A Neighborhood Assessment The Lovejoy Community By: Kirby R. Loclear University of Florida GEO 6905 directed Studies, Dr Hugli Advisor Department of Environment Studies

 

 

 

 Documented Assessment Sites

Chromalloy Florida and Anchors Street Contamination (USEPA ID No.: 1000327073, FLD097373542)

Boeing Company Support Services (USEPA ID No.: 1000362434)

Gap Greek Watershed

FT. WALTON BEACH, READY AVE. LANDFILL, READY AVE. & LOVEJOY ROAD, FLD984242792

Lovejoy Road Out-Door Shooting Range (Lead Contamination)

Lovejoy Road Fire Training Site (Toxic Resin)

Okaloosa County Road Department, Ready Avenue (Petroleum Cleanup)

U.S. AIR FORCE HURLBURT FIELD FL INSTALLATION RANGES

DRS C3 Systems (USEPA ID No.: 100358339)

Waste Management Environmental Waste Systems. (EWS) (FAC ID No. 8839374 and USEPA ID No.: U00136425, 1000261513)

Signal Technology Corp, Keltec (FAC ID No.: 8734167 and USEPA ID No.: 100037895)

Review: Site History Search for Potential Brownfield sites in the Lovejoy Community

 

 

 

Lovejoy Community Needs

Health Study

Hydrological study of the communities

Adequate storm water system

Soil and Groundwater Testing (Core Sampling)

Community Redevelopment Funding

 

 

 

 

 

Chromalloy’s Request for 90-day Extension of Site Assessment Report



January 10, 2011

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Northwest District

160 Governmental Center, Suite 308

Pensacola, Florida 32502-5794

 

Attention:       Ms. Karen Shea, Cleanup Section Supervisor

 

RE:                 Chromalloy’s Request for 90-day Extension of Site Assessment Report Addendum

FDEP Site ID: COM_6033

Project No. 1380.10.04

Dear Ms. Shea:

 

The Greater Sylvania Heights Front Porch (GSHFP), a community group of concerned Fort Walton Beach residents, would like to follow up on their discussions with the DEP regarding their concerns about the contaminated Chromalloy site located at 630, 631 and 633 Anchors Street NW in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The community is aware that Chromalloy has filed a request for a 90-day extension on their Site Assessment Report Addendum (SARA). The community would like to notify the DEP of their concerns regarding this request.

 

Initially, in a letter dated November 4, 2009, the DEP requested that Chromalloy submit a SAR no later than August 3, 2010. Following that request, the DEP then granted Chromalloy an extension for their SAR deadline which extended the due date to September 17, 2010. Despite the ten months that Chromalloy had to prepare and submit their SAR, the document submitted was insufficient and failed to address many of the requirements of Chapter 62-780.600, F.A.C.

 

The GSHFP’s concern at this time is the timely and sufficient site characterization and clean-up by the responsible party. Chromalloy’s 90-day request for an extension cites their inability to install monitoring wells within the timeframe necessary to collect samples, analyze them and report on them in the SARA. It should be noted that SAR requirements have not changed since the DEP requested that Chromalloy submit one in November 2009, and that Chromalloy, in the ten months it had to submit the SAR, ought to have installed the appropriate monitoring wells and other structures in order to fully analyze and characterize their site within that required timeframe. While the community agrees that these monitoring wells are likely necessary to fulfill the requirements of the SAR, we take the strong position that Chromalloy should not be granted a 90 day extension.  Instead, we urge the DEP to enforce the proper requirement for an adequate SAR no later than January 24, 2011. Should the SAR not be submitted in a timely fashion we strongly urge the DEP to impose the applicable fines to Chromalloy until a sufficient SAR is submitted.

 

It should be noted that in our meeting with the DEP on October 26, 2010, the DEP was in agreement with many of the GSHFP’s concerns over the SAR, and as a result informed our community that it would not approve the September 16, 2010 SAR submitted by Chromolloy. The DEP representatives even further agreed that if an acceptable SARA was not submitted by the January 24, 2011 due date (which was at that time unknown) that Chromalloy would be required to pay the applicable fines.  Most importantly, those incurred fines could be used to fund an environmental project for the benefit of the Lovejoy community.  Allowing Chromolloy to continually delay submission of a proper SAR (and to avoid penalty for delay) subverts the purposes of environmental protection and environmental justice.

 

Again, we would like to reiterate that the GSHFP’s concern is the timely and sufficient site characterization and clean-up by the responsible party. As the contamination at the Chromalloy site goes uncharacterized and without remediation, the residents of the Lovejoy community in Fort Walton Beach are left with more questions than answers.  The community continues to be left with fears about its health and groundwater, which many residents still use for drinking, cooking, bathing and irrigation. The community has also reached out to Chromolloy to discuss its concerns about the contamination and cleanup. Despite attempts to contact Chromalloy to discuss community concerns, Chromalloy has been unresponsive. The community believes that Chromolloy’s unwillingness to respond to our concerns directly should be considered as a factor when determining whether to extend another 90 days to Chromolloy after the January 24, 2011 deadline.  We respectfully urge the DEP to enforce the requirement that Chromolloy submit an adequate SARA no later than January 24, 2011.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of our clients, the GSHFP

 

 

 

Brett Paben                

Senior Staff Attorney        

 

CC:


Victor Hultstrand, DEP, Waste Cleanup Division

160 Governmental Center, Suite 308

Pensacola, Florida 32502-5794

 

Mike S. Kennedy, DEP, Program Administrator

160 Governmental Center, Suite 308

Pensacola, Florida 32502-5794

 

 

Alex Webster, DEP, Brownfields Coordinator

160 Governmental Center, Suite 308

Pensacola, Florida 32502-5794

 

Larry Morgan, DEP, Chief Deputy General Counsel

3900 Commonwealth Blvd.

Douglass 628 D 

Tallahassee, Florida 32399 


Environmental Justice Congressional Request

Congressman Jeff Miller Florida First Congressional District

Environmental Justice Senate Request

Senator Don Gaetz District 4 Florida

 

 

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