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Relocation delay for residents near Mt. DIoxin

   Toxic Site Relocations Hit a Delay
   Sun-Sentinel - Ft. Lauderdale
   Tue, Aug 26 1997
   A Justice Department review of initial appraisals has
   caused a one-month delay in plans to begin moving up to
   358 families from homes and apartments near two toxic
   waste sites.
   Owners of 18 homes closest to the abandoned Escambia
   Wood Treating Co. plant nicknamed Mount Dioxin were
   supposed to begin getting appraisal letters in mid-July,
   but the first ones did not go out until last week.
   The 18 letters were to be in the mail by the end of this
   week, said Larry Meese, real estate property manager for
   the Army Corps of Engineers, which is conducting the
   appraisals for the Environmental Protection Agency.
   "I guess these are just steps they go through, but it
   concerns me," said Margaret Williams, president of a
   community group called Citizens Against Toxic Exposure,
   or CATE.
   "I think the stress is getting next to people."
   Six years ago, CATE began lobbying the EPA to move
   residents in neighborhoods surrounding Mount Dioxin and
   the former site of an Agrico fertilizer plant.
   Both sites are on EPA's Superfund list. A cleanup
   operation has been completed at Agrico. The Escambia     Ê
   Treating plant has been partly cleaned.
   Dioxin is one of several toxic substances found at the
   sites and in neighboring yards. Residents have blamed
   the pollution for deaths and illnesses ranging from
   cancer to skin rashes, but EPA officials say no
   cause-and-effect relationship has been confirmed.
   The relocation project in this Florida Panhandle city is
   the third largest of its kind behind Love Canal at
   Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Times Beach, Mo.
   The Justice Department wanted to review the appraisals
   because that agency would have to defend them in court
   in case sales agreements cannot be reached and the
   property is acquired through condemnation.
   Meese expects the first moves will begin next month. But
   it could be years before all residents are relocated.
   (Copyright 1997)
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