Meeting Date: April 23, 2012
From: Fred Morrison, City Attorney
Subject: Ellis Road Site Cleanup
Staff recommends adoption of a resolution authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Consent Decree with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the cleanup of the Ellis Road site in Jacksonville.
For quite some time, the City has been involved in the process of cleaning up the Ellis Road site in Jacksonville, a location to which the City and numerous other electrical utilities sent old transformers. The operators of the site permitted the contents of the transformers to leak thus contaminating the property, and the EPA has been seeking to hold responsible those who sent any contaminated materials to the site.
Recently the Commission authorized the City Manager to execute what was presented to Leesburg and other minor participants as an agreement to which the EPA had consented, limiting the City’s liability to $6,484.08 and shielding the City from any liability for cleanup costs already incurred by the EPA. It now turns out that either EPA has changed its position, or did not make its position clear earlier. EPA is requiring all participants to execute the actual Consent Decree, not the side agreement allocating liability among the cleanup participants. Although the side agreement would still limit the City’s liability for current expenses, EPA says it will not release any party to the side agreement from liability for past cleanup costs, unless all parties also sign the Consent Decree itself, and EPA has set a May 1 deadline for that to happen.
The resolution before you would authorize execution of the Consent Decree. The staff recommendation for approval is based on the fact that signing the Consent Decree will not increase the liability of the City for cleanup costs, and will provide the safe harbor from previously incurred cleanup costs the City was told it would have under the side agreement approved earlier. Essentially approval of the resolution will net the City the benefits it was to have incurred by entering into the earlier agreement, but for the more recent edict from EPA that it requires all parties to sign the actual consent decree, not a small group designated for that purpose by the side agreement.
1. Approve the resolution authorizing execution of the Consent Decree.
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate
The fiscal impact will be $6,484.08, the same as under the agreement previously approved.
Department: ____City Attorney_______
Prepared by: ____Fred Morrison_____
Attachments: Yes_X__ No ______
Advertised: ____Not Required ______
Attorney Review : Yes___ No ____
Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. __________________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE A CONSENT DECREE WITH THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FOR THE PURPOSE OF AGREEING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CLEANUP OF CONTAMINATION AT THE ELLIS ROAD SITE PREVIOUSLY USED BY THE CITY TO DISPOSE OF USED TRANSFORMERS, AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT the Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute a Consent Decree between the City of Leesburg and Environmental Protection Agency, for the purpose of agreeing to participate in the cleanup of contamination at the Ellis Road site previously used by the City to dispose of used transformers.
THIS RESOLUTION shall take effect upon its passage and adoption according to law.
PASSED AND ADOPTED at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the 23rd day of April, 2012.
THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA