Skip Global navigation and goto content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

Skip MegaMenu and goto content

Success Stories

Hazardous Waste Site Health Risk Assessment Program

  •  877-798-2772

    Mailing Address

    Mailing Address 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-08 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1710 

Map of Florida highlighting locations of success stories listed below.
  • Story #1: National Oil Company
  • Story #2: Silver Springs Shore
  • Story #3: Inco-Increte
  • Story #4: Open House Meetings
  • Story #5: Jasper Laundry & Dry Cleaners
  • Story #6: St. Andrew’s School

Where: National Oil Company (NOC), Plant City, Florida

What: Testing children and playground soil for lead

The National Oil Company (NOC) hazardous waste site is at 402 Michigan Avenue in Plant City, Florida. The NOC recycled petroleum products until 1980. In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found soil and groundwater contamination. Since then, neither EPA nor the state has tested or cleaned the soil or groundwater.

During a routine visit in May 2016, the Department observed a small playground on the eastern half of the site. Although the full extent of contamination is unknown, one soil sample approximately 40 feet from the playground had high levels of lead. Lead can damage the developing nervous systems` of young children.

At the request of the Department, the playground owner tested the soil for lead. The children who used the playground were also tested. Lead levels in the children and soil were not likely to cause illness.

The Department achieved the short-term outcome of determining the health threat to children. In the long-term, the Department’s report increases the chances that EPA or the state will require comprehensive testing of the entire site.

Where: Silver Springs Shore, Ocala, Florida

What: 1,4-Dioxane in drinking water – not a public health threat

The Silver Springs Shore area is within a mile of Maricamp and Oak roads in Ocala, Marion County, Florida. The area includes both public supply and private-use water wells. In 2016, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection found low levels 1,4-dioxane in the public supply and private wells in the Silver Springs Shores area. 1,4-Dioxane is associated with some industrial solvents. It is also found in soaps, laundry detergents, shampoos, and other similar products.

The Department reviewed the test results and found:

  • The levels of 1,4-dioxane in the public water supply are not likely to cause illness.
  • The levels of 1,4-dioxane in area private wells are not likely to cause illness.

By reviewing these test results, the Department addressed short- and long-term health concerns about low levels of 1,4-dioxane in the area drinking water.

Where: Inco-Increte, Tampa, Florida

What: Risk of toxic vapors from groundwater pollution

From the early 1960s to the early 1990s, operators at the Inco-Increte site, 4616 N. Clark Avenue, Tampa, made and stored a range of chemicals. County inspectors found spills and leaks resulting in soil and groundwater pollution.

The Department reviewed the test results and found that volatile chemicals in shallow groundwater could intrude as vapors into buildings. The Department recommended a vapor intrusion evaluation if site owners build houses on the site. They also recommended a vapor intrusion evaluation of a nearby house over polluted groundwater prior to it being reoccupied. Because of this evaluation, the Department prevented residents from being exposed to potentially toxic groundwater vapors.

Where: Open House Meetings for various hazardous waste sites in Florida

  • Former Orlando Gasification Plant, Orlando, Florida
  • Arkla Terra, Tampa, Florida
  • Naval Air Station Jacksonville (PFAS), Jacksonville, Florida
  • Fairfax Wood Treaters, Jacksonville, Florida

What: DOH attendance was requested to answer any health-related questions from concerned community members.

DOH attended Open House meetings for following sites:

  • Former Orlando Gasification Plant
  • Arkla Terra
  • Naval Air Station Jacksonville (PFAS)
  • Fairfax Wood Treaters

DOH was able to communicate with most of the community members that were present before and after the meetings. Furthermore, DOH provided educational materials about the chemicals of concerns, how to prevent exposure to those chemicals, as well as possible effects of those chemicals to human health. Some of the material was provided in English and Spanish.

 DOH achieved the short-term outcome of calming the community members and helped them to have a better understanding of the chemical they may have been exposed to. Thus, DOH increased awareness and knowledge; and hopefully helped to change the behaviors of community members.

Where: Jasper Laundry & Dry Cleaners, Jasper, Ocala, Florida

What: A community member living adjacent to the back of Jasper Laundry & Dry Cleaners Site (Site) is concerned that some of the Site’s activities could cause harm to her and her family.

The Jasper Laundry & Dry Cleaners hazardous waste site is located at 214 Martin Luther King Drive, Jasper, Florida. According to the current owner, the property has been in the family since 1946 and operated as a drycleaner since that time. It is known that some dry-cleaning operations have occurred on the property prior to 1946 but it is unknown in what year operations of the original drycleaners began. Operations were ceased in 2012. After 2012, possible automotive repair work has occurred inside the former drycleaners building.

A community member living adjacent to the back of Jasper Laundry & Dry Cleaners Site is concerned that some of the site’s activities may cause a potential health risk. DOH investigated these concerns to ensure the health and safety of the community members.

DOH achieved the short-term outcome of determining that presently there is no potential to harm human health via contact to surface soil (0 – 0.5 ft) at the adjacent, as well as via contact to groundwater. In the future, we recommend that control measures are taken to prevent the construction of a private well intended for drinking near the site. Groundwater from the area is contaminated at levels that could cause harm if someone is directly drinking it.

Where: St. Andrew’s School, Boca Raton, Tampa, Florida

What: Risk of toxic vapors from groundwater pollution due to failing remedial system.

Previous petroleum tank storage on the property of Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, FL was associated with contamination of soil and groundwater which in turn posed a contamination of air through vapor intrusion. A remediation effort was established to minimize exposure of students and workers to the contaminated media. Recent testing (2018) found benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes, and methyl tert-butyl ether in indoor air samples in the administrative building of the school.

DOH achieved the short-term outcome of determining that air with the highest level of benzene will not cause non-cancer health effects. In the long-term, DOH concluded that the vapor concentration measured may pose an extremely low risk of cancer. DOH recommended to:

  • Further assess and mitigate immediate threats to safety such as the potential of fire or explosion hazards,
  • Repair the current AV/SVE system to ensure proper ventilation and continue to monitor vapor concentrations,
  • Install additional ventilation equipment in the building until the AV/SVE system can work properly, and
  • Continue monitoring the air quality to ensure public health safety until the vapor intrusion is properly mitigated.