Tuesday, September 01, 2009

CSXT says contamination poses no risk

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CSX Transportation says there is no danger to residents, but it is letting one Jacksonville, Fla., Westside neighborhood know that it has found some contaminants in ground water near an old rail yard site, the Florida Times-Union reports. The rail yard south of Beaver Street between McDuff Avenue and Edgewood Avenue ceased operations in 1985. But Jacksonville-based CSXT still owns the property and has a dispatch center and other operations adjacent to the site.

The company has been monitoring ground water there since then and discovered last year that contamination had spread to new areas. Recently, it found contaminants in water 20 feet below the surface in a neighborhood just south of the rail yard site. CSXT said the contaminants include solvents that were used as de-greasers and cleaners and also some petroleum products.

CSX said the affected residents, which are largely on Warrington Street, are on city water hookups and should not be affected by the contamination.

"We don't think there's any danger at all to the community," CSX spokesman Gary Sease said

"I think they're probably correct," said John Davis, a professional geologist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Davis said CSXT has had a remedial action plan in place to clean up contaminants on the rail yard property and is in the process of modifying that plan to deal with contamination outside the property. But that plan is not final yet.

CSX said about 75 property owners were notified in mid-August about possible contamination in the area. The company is holding a public information session for those residents today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 116 Druid St., a CSX building adjacent to the rail yard site.

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