The Orlando Gasification Plant in Parramore may be gone, but its toxic history is preserved at the Orlando Public Library.
- Parramore plant left behind lethal chemicals in the ground
- EPA says the lethal chemicals remains in the area
- Dozens of EPA 'Superfund' sites still exist throughout Central Florida
A look back through thousands of pages of records show the energy plant left behind lethal chemicals in the ground that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, are still there — chemicals such as benzene, napthalene, coal tar and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, to name a few.
Dozens of EPA "Superfund" sites such as the gasification plant, which leaked dangerous chemicals into the ground, still exist throughout Central Florida.
Dan Ward represents the Orlando Gasification Plant Site group, the owners of businesses that have and continue to operate on the site and are responsible for implementing a plan to clean it up under EPA standards.
"At the time, when these gas plants operated, people didn't understand the impact of residual compounds and things like that," he said.
"There's been no evidence whatsoever that there is any contamination from this site ever found in the drinking water wells," Ward said. "There is a difference between reaching the aquifer and reaching our drinking water supply."
Ward said remediation will include more than two square blocks being surrounded with underground walls to encase the affected site and prevent the spread of the chemicals.
EPA representatives said if there were immediate concerns, they would be out there immediately to address them. In the meantime, they've sent a letter to residents in Parramore letting them know when plans would be completed on how to clean up this mess.
Lawanna Gelzer is a lifelong Parramore resident. She said she learned of the EPA Superfund cleanup site and is actively trying to learn more about the site and alert her community.
"We all played over there, not knowing that that over there is contaminated. We had no idea," said Gelzer, a community activist.
"The community is always being told you shouldn't worry about it, but you are going to spend upwards of $60 million to clean it up? That's fine and dandy, but I don't trust my government sometimes," Gelzer said.
EPA officials said there will be a community meeting in December to update residents — 57 years after the closure of the Orlando Gasification Plant.