Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unearthed Old Dump Gets EPA Attention

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unearthed Old Dump Gets EPA Attention

Article excerpt

The investigation into an old, illegal dump behind a new

Mandarin subdivision continues this week, as city and state

officials try to see if there is more buried there than just

tires, trash and a few batteries.

Those items and other junk were uncovered at the rear of the

5-acre lot on Sparkman Road in December. Officials plan to dig

deeper into the property this week to see what else is buried

there.

Investigators were led to the dump by a tip from a neighbor.

While most of the debris is not dangerous, the batteries

apparently dumped there years ago could have leaked chemicals

into the ground, state investigators said. The question now is

how to get rid of it as well as find out who buried it, and

whether any charges can be filed against the dumpers.

Neighbor Ronald Lyle complained about the junk shortly after

contractors uncovered it clearing the site and digging a new

drainage pond in October.

"There were all sorts of trash, car parts and other items

strewn all over the place. It was grown over to the point that

until they started pushing dirt around, you really couldn't see

much," Lyle said. "I walked back and that is when I saw all the

gas bottles and partially buried tires and just garbage."

Investigators from the state Department of Environmental

Protection think much of the garbage was buried in the 1980s,

based on dates found on old prescription bottles and newspapers

found in it. But William Sheffield, who has owned the property

for a year, said most of the junk seems to be at the back of the

site, and far away from the 14 homes he is preparing to build

there.

"Where the homes are going, there were trees that we cleared

out, so there is certainly nothing under the trees," Sheffield

said. "People throw stuff around like that. …

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