ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The City of Orlando and multiple partners will begin cleanup of a pollution contaminated site on West Robinson Street in Parramore next week. The old building at 523 West Robinson was part of an old gas plant in operation from the 1890's all the way up until 1960 according to Orlando City Attorney David Bass.
"You had a lot of waste products, coals and tars and stuff. Of course before environmental laws were in place, people weren't the best stewards of the environment, and didn't know what to do with it. So a lot of it ended up in the ground, and ground water and that sort of thing."
The city has known about the pollution for decades now, and the site is even an EPA Superfund site. It's taken almost 13 years to get a plan in place. Bass says the city is excited to see that building demolished.
"We are just looking for what the concentrations in the soil are. It may dictate how deep the excavation goes."
Poisonous tars, and coal was put into wells before environmental laws were in place, and there is a serious plume underneath the ground in Parramore. While things have been dumped into wells, and some soil has been found to be contaminated, David Bass says there is no risk for the community at large.
"They're currently under concrete so there's no exposure risks to the residents of the area."
The city expects the price tag to clean phase one of all this pollution to be $18 million. Most of that cost will be paid by the land owners, and the companies that have used that property over the years. Some of those companies include TECO Gas, and Duke Energy. City of Orlando taxpayers will chip in 2 percent of the total cost, or about 360 thousand dollars.