City of Jacksonville Moves Forward with Long-Term Cleanup Project

February 17, 2009  

The City of Jacksonville announced today that it is on its way to becoming a cleaner city by partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and launching Project New Ground.

Project New Ground is a long-term cleanup project that calls for the city to test and, where necessary, remove up to two feet of soil from properties that have ash deposits, which may contain lead. The cleanup process will also include relandscaping the properties where cleanup occurs.

Ash deposits may exist on properties as a result of a long-ago abandoned practice of burning solid waste, a common pracitce that took place in many cities and towns in the United States. After the waste was burned, the ashes were dumped and/or used as fill in several areas of town including those surrounding Forest Street, Fifth and Cleveland Streets, Lonnie C. Miller and Brown's Dump.

To determine what parcels of land in the aforementioned areas will need to be cleaned, the soil must be scientifically tested. Before that process can begin, city contractors will need permission from land owners to access the properties. Residents and owners in the effected areas are urged to check their mail boxes this week for a Project New Ground information packet, which will contain an access agreement. The packets are scheduled to be mailed the week of February 16. Once the access agreement is received, residents will be contacted by a city representative to dicuss the project and schedule testing.

During the first week in March, Project New Ground will host a series of public information fairs. City personel will be on hand answer any questions about the scope of the project. Dates, times and locations will be provided at a later date.

For questions or concerns, residents and business owners should contact (904) 630-CITY,or visit www.ProjectNewGround.org.


About Project New Ground

Project New Ground is a long-term cleanup project resulting from an agreement between the City of Jacksonville and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agreement calls for the city to test parcels within the defined ash boundaries and clean up any property to the strictest state and federal standards. Until the 1960s, it was common practice for Jacksonville residents and people around the United States, to use ash generated by waste incinerators as fill for their properties. Project New Ground will test the soil and, if necessary, replace it with clean soil and sod. Project New Ground keeps property owners and the community at large aware of the process each step of the way.