Items Types:
Public Works
For Meeting of:
October 20, 2014
District: 5 From:
Contract ID: Document Number:
Exhibits: Yes On File (City Clerk) : Yes Draft Only: No
Grant Received by City?: No

Proposed Orlando MGP Site Consent Decree with the EPA and Settlement with Other Parties


Manufactured Gas Plants (MGPs) were common throughout the US from the late 1800s through about 1960.  They produced gas for use in businesses and homes by applying a heavy industrial process to coal. These MGPs typically left behind contaminants in the soil and groundwater.  A MGP was located in Orlando on the 400-600 blocks West Robinson Street (near Terry and Chatham Avenues) and operated from about 1887 to 1960; the MGP was demolished in the early 1960s.

Studies regarding the existence and extent of contamination have been undertaken at the Site under the supervision of the US EPA for over the past twelve years.  Prior to that, the USGS did some preliminary work at the site in the late 1980s, which identified some MGP contamination in a City drainage well (DW-62).

For the purposes of the EPA work, the site has been divided into two parts: 

 ·       Operable Unit 1 (OU-1), comprising contamination in the surface soils and groundwater (approximately the upper 50 feet of subsurface profile)

 ·       Operable Unit 2 (OU-2), consisting of the lower groundwater (within the upper Floridan Aquifer – approximately from depths of 200 to 300 feet below ground surface)

Through a remedial investigation and feasibility study of OU-1, the EPA has approved and issued a plan (Record of Decision - ROD) to remedy contamination on the site.  The construction project will be managed by the Orlando Gasification Plant Site Group under the direction and guidance of the EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  The plan is currently in the design phase with construction on the site expected to begin in late 2015 or early 2016. Once initiated, the cleanup for OU-1 is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months. The OU-2 assessment is still ongoing with the selection of a remedy and known associated costs likely 1 – 3 years away.

Over the course of more than 125 years, a number of companies (or their predecessors) have operated facilities on the site or currently own portions of the impacted property. Although the plant that caused the contamination closed more than 50 years ago, there are currently six potentially responsible parties (PRP’s) involved in the cleanup.

Known as the Orlando Plant Gasification Group, these parties include:

·       Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC)

·       Duke Energy (formerly FPC)

 ·       Continental Holdings, Inc. (CHI)

 ·       Peoples Gas System (PGS)

 ·       Blaine Pierce

 ·       City of Orlando

After a detailed review of the facts, relevant legal cases, federal statutes, expert reports, and briefs, a proposed tentative settlement has been reached with the other PRPs which would allocate:

 ·       2% of OU-1 cleanup (remediation) costs to the City. 

·       10% of OU-2 cleanup (remediation) costs to the City. 

The proposed settlement is recommend for approval due to the highly complex and technical nature of this matter, there would be substantial litigation costs (potentially in excess of $1 million) to litigate this matter in federal court, as well as the risk of being allocated even higher shares of liability by a federal judge if a settlement is not reached.  In addition, litigation could further delay the implementation of the remedies for both OU-1 and OU-2.

Fiscal & Efficiency Data: For FY 2014-15, approximately $60,000. For FY 2015-16 approximately $120,000. For FY 2016-17, approximately $180,000. For FY 2017-18 until FY 2032-33, approximately $100,000 to 200,000 per year.  This will be paid by Risk Management.

Recommended Action:
Request that City Council authorize the City to sign a Consent Decree (CD) with the EPA, which acknowledges that the potentially responsible parties (PRP’s) will implement the selected remedy for MGP site contamination clean up for OU-1, which was published as a Record of Decision (ROD) in September 2013.  The Council is also requested to have the City enter into settlement agreements with the various PRPs which locks in the City’s percentage contribution for implementation of the selected remedy.  Associated with the settlement agreements are a participation agreement and an escrow agreement to fund the remedial action for OU-1.

Agenda Item attachment(s) on file in the City Clerks Office.

Note: All agenda items must be in the City Clerk's office by Noon Friday, six(6) business days prior to the regular Monday City Council meeting.

Contact: David Bass, City Attorney's Office; Rick Howard, Public Works
Approved By:

Department Date and Time
Public Works 10/9/2014 3:25 PM

Name: Description: Type:
Orlando_MGP_CD.pdf Consent Decree with EPA Backup Material
Settlement_Agreement_with_CHI_and_the_City.pdf Allocation Agreement Backup Material
Settlement_agreement_with_Pierce.pdf Settlement Agreement (Pierce) Backup Material
OU1_RD-RA_Participation_Agreement.pdf Participation Agreement Backup Material
OU1_RD-RA_Escrow_Agreement.pdf Escrow Agreement Backup Material
Fiscal_Impact_Statement.doc Fiscal Impact Statement Backup Material

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