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The EPA Needs to Improve Institutional Controls at the American Creosote Works Superfund Site in Pensacola, Florida, to Protect Public Health and IIJA-Funded Remediation

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Why We Did This Report 

We conducted this evaluation to determine whether the EPA’s oversight and implementation of institutional controls will support effective use of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or IIJA, funding at the American Creosote Works Inc. (Pensacola Plant) Superfund site in Pensacola, Florida. The EPA allocated approximately $40 million in IIJA funds for the final remediation of this site.

Summary of Findings 

The institutional controls that the EPA has established at the American Creosote Works Inc. (Pensacola Plant) Superfund site in Pensacola, Florida, related to contaminated groundwater and soil are not sufficient to prevent potential exposure to contamination. For contaminated groundwater, the institutional control that the EPA relied on did not prevent well drilling or require groundwater well plugging and abandonment. The EPA also did not plan to secure permission from private property owners to plug and abandon any wells that the EPA encountered during remediation, potentially wasting at least $1.3 million in remediation funds from the IIJA. For contaminated soil, the EPA did not implement institutional controls to prevent potential exposure to off-facility parcel contamination or to inform the wider public of the extent of contamination. Further, the EPA does not plan to implement institutional controls on these parcels after remediation to prevent the disturbance of unremediated soil, potentially wasting $5.4 million in IIJA funds allocated for the parcels’ remediation.  

Project Number: OSRE-FY23-0054

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