South Street Environmental Assessment
Public Information Workshop
On August 1, 2017, the City of Fort Myers held a public information workshop to provide information, take public comments, and answer questions about the proposed sampling plan and testing for the 3348 South Street site and in your area.
To view the video presentation, click here
The City welcomes your input about the project. If you have questions or would like to comment or make additional recommendations to the testing plans, you are invited to submit your comments on the Contact Us page of this website.
South Street Timeline:
May 7, 1962- City agrees to purchase South Street property at a public hearing during the City Council meeting. Mayor Edward Simpson states on the record that the property will be used for sludge disposal.
November 1966- The City advertises for proposals to build a pipeline for sludge disposal to the wellfield. A November 20 News-Press article cites Public Works Director Roger Nooe, who states that “The dumping pits off Henderson are filled.” A November 30 article about the same topic adds, “…the sludge is a non-contaminating mineral mixture, it has no value and is a nuisance to water plant officials.” It is unknown exactly when the City stopped utilizing the South Street pits.
1993- Construction is complete on the new water plant, which uses a membrane process/reverse osmosis to process drinking water. Lime sludge is no longer produced.
April 18, 1994- City Council approves a contract for the sale of the seventeen South Street lots to Habitat for Humanity to build affordable single-family housing within three years from the date of sale.
August 15, 1994- City Council rescinds the contract with Habitat for Humanity. “Soil borings revealed that 3-5 feet of lime from the treatment plant was used as fill on the property and the cost of building on pilings renders the affordable housing planned by Habitat for Humanity infeasible.”
October 2002- The City contracts Environmental Risk Management, Inc. (ERMI) to perform a preliminary environmental site assessment on the property because of “Reported dumping on lime sludge.” The report notes that “lime sludge is not considered to be a hazardous waste.” ERMI does not observe lime sludge on the site, and notes that vegetation could be covering the area of concern, or that the lime sludge may have formed a hard shell. With these exceptions, “ERMI concludes that no environmental concerns would exist if such dumping has occurred on site. Further investigation is not considered necessary.”
September 30, 2003. The South Street lots are annexed by the City as part of the Dunbar annexation (Ordinance No. 2003-16).
February 2007- The City contracts ASC Geosciences, Inc. (ASC) to test the South Street property for lime sludge and finds approximately 25,000 cubic yards of sludge on the site. FDEP recommends testing for arsenic and aluminum. ASC tests 44 test pits at varying depths. Aluminum concentration is well below soil cleanup target level of 80,000 mg/kg in all 44 pts. Only one of the 44 test pits is found to have arsenic levels exceeding soil cleanup target levels for commercial/industrial of 12 mg/kg. Test pit #14 is found to have a concentration of 16 mg/kg, eight feet below the ground surface. All other pits are tested at or below target level.
ASC suggests several remediation scenarios, including:
A 2017 Estimate of the costs of each potential remediation strategy are estimated from $3 million to $17 million, depending on the strategy utilized and site-specific factors that cannot be determined at the current time.
April 9, 2007- City Council passes a resolution (2007-17) to establish funding for the development of the “Home-A-Rama” project to provide infill housing alternatives to residents. The proposed Home-a-Rama affordable housing project is a planned unit development for seventeen vacant lots bounded by South Street, Jeffcott Street, Ford Street, and Henderson Avenue. “The City will work with the Department of Environmental Protection to implement a cost effective solution for mitigating the lime sludge that presently exists on some of the lots”
April 2008- The City contracts American Compliance Technologies, Inc. (A-C-T) to perform a limited groundwater assessment report. A-C-T installs six shallow groundwater monitor wells with the approval of FDEP. “The laboratory analytical results indicate that arsenic was detected in two (2) of the six (6) monitor wells in concentrations slightly above the levels established in Chapter 62-550 FAC” [state water standards]. Levels in these wells range from concentrations of .012 mg/l to .018 mg/l.
July 2008- FDEP asks the City’s Community Development Department to either submit a Remedial Action Plan or request a No Further Actions with Conditions. Additionally, DEP notes, “The Department’s Waste Cleanup Program will require a monitoring plan be instituted at the facility to monitor the site groundwater. Quarterly groundwater sampling according to the interim monitoring plan will continue for a minimum of one year and may be required to continue for an extended period.”
May 2010- FDEP notifies CDD that it has not yet submitted a remedial action plan for cleanup of the site.
June 25, 2010- FDEP meets with CDD and Public Works personnel to discuss a timeframe for submittal of the remedial action plan. Because construction plans had been placed on hold due to the recession, the two groups agreed to compromise on a continued monitoring schedule:
“The six monitoring wells on the property would be sampled and analyzed for Arsenic on a semi-annual schedule (August & February) for five (5) years, with a Natural Attenuation Monitoring Report submitted for review within sixty day of the sampling date… A supplement to the RAP, to follow, would include a plan to address impacted soils (sampling of soils, and including a pilot test mixing of impacted and clean soils for example), or other method of remediation to be conducted once development of the associated 1,100 acre property commenced… We accepted the compromise proposal as impacted soils do not appear to be leaching, the groundwater exceedances are insignificant considering the volume of impacted soil, and impacted groundwater was not migrating off-property.”
July 8, 2010- City submits Remedial Action Plan (described above) to FDEP. The plan is accepted.
August 2010- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results range from .0041 mg/L to .0082 mg/L, well below the state water standard of .01 mg/L.
February 2011- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results in two of the six wells are below detection limits of .0026 mg/L. Well #2 is measured at .012 mg/L, slightly exceeding the state water standard of .01 mg/L. FDEP responds that: “From the reported concentrations of Arsenic in the groundwater, it is apparent that these sludges are not susceptible to an elevated rate of leaching.”
August 2011- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results are all below the state water standard. Results in two of the six wells are below detection limits.
February 2012- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results are all significantly below the state water standard. Results in three of the six wells are below detection limits.
April 2012- FDEP reduces the sampling schedule to annual sample collection starting in August 2012.
October 2012- City contracts HSA Engineers & Scientists to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results in wells #1 and #2 are above state water standards. Two wells are below detection levels.
December 2013- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results in all wells are below state water standards. FDEP reminds the City that annual sampling is due in August.
June 2014- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results in all wells are below state water standards.
September 2014- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results in all wells are below state water standards.
September 2015- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the groundwater wells. Arsenic concentration results in all wells are below state water standards.
2015-16 (sometime between testing dates). Well #1 on the site is destroyed. It is not known how the damage occurred.
October 2016- City contracts Sanders Laboratories to sample the remaining five groundwater wells. Groundwater arsenic concentration levels are so low that they are not detectable at the reporting limit.
January 2017- FDEP reduces the sampling schedule to biennial, with the next sample collection scheduled for September 2018. Additionally, FDEP notes: “We have determined that a replacement for MW-1 will not be necessary.”
FORT MYERS, FL (August 18, 2017) – The City of Fort Myers is moving forward with its plans to environmentally assess and remediate the City-owned property at 3348 South St. in Fort Myers. On Wednesday, Aug. 23, GFA International, the City’s environmental consultant, will replace a groundwater monitoring well near the northwest corner of the property.
Six monitoring wells initially were installed on the site in April, 2008 at the recommendation of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). These wells test the site’s groundwater for arsenic, a contaminant discovered on the property in 2007.
Most recently tested in September 2015, the northwest well revealed groundwater arsenic concentrations of .0014 mg/L (1.4 parts per billion), below the Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard of .010 mg/L (10 parts per billion).
Damage to the original northwest well was discovered in 2016. At the time, the City was not required to replace the well as part of its ongoing monitoring of the site. However, the City will now replace the well in preparation for its upcoming environmental site assessment of the property.
City of Fort Myers | South Street Environmental Assessment