"Mt. Dioxin" (the Escambia Treating Company Superfund site) and its toxic contaminants are a threat to Bayou Texar and the Pensacola Bay System, drinking water, public health, the environment, and the local economy.

  • Do you drink water from south Escambia County? (this includes Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, and parts of south Santa Rosa County)
  • Do you eat meals prepared with this water?
  • Do you eat local (including Gulf of Mexico) seafood?
  • Do you use local waters for recreation?
  • Do you own property or have business interests in southern Escambia County?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are potentially affected by Mt. Dioxin.

The former woodtreating facility is located on the east side of Palafox Street, north of the Fairfield intersection in Pensacola. Toxic contaminants include dioxins, furans, pentachlorophenol, creosote, arsenic, benzo(a)pyrene, dieldrin, napthalene, toluene, xylene, benzene, copper, chromium, and more, as well as asbestos and PCBs The nearby Agrico (agricultural chemicals) Superfund site adds other poisons, including lead, fluoride, and radium. Underground, a plume of contamination from both sites is spreading and moving, usually east/southeast toward Bayou Texar.


Mt. Dioxin's contaminants include carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, and endocrine disruptors. Translating from medical texts into ordinary language, the possible health effects are:

  • several different kinds of cancers; genetic damage; birth defects; miscarriage; heart disease; liver damage; kidney damage; lung damage; nerve damage; leukemia and other blood diseases; immune system damage; thyroid damage; hormone imbalances; metabolic diseases
  • severe skin irritation, burning and itching; blisters; acne pimples; dark spots on skins; red, grey, yellow or other colored spots; gangrene; unusual hair growth; skin reaction to sunlight; skin cancers
  • severe eye irritation; inflammation of the cornea; inflammation of the eyelids; fixed pupils; permanent scarring of the cornea
  • severe respiratory irritation; difficult breathing; coughing; chest pain; hoarseness; bronchitis; suffocation
  • lack of appetite; nausea; uncontrollable vomiting; vomiting of blood; stomach pain; sores inside the body; white patches inside the mouth; blood in urine
  • anemia; blood thinning, bleeding and bruising; fever; weight loss; weakness; exhaustion; water retention and swelling; yellow color of skin and eyeballs
  • chills; drooling; dizziness; excessive sweating; slurred speech; stumbling; shaking; restlessness; hyperactivity; hallucinations; confusion; lack of coordination; headaches; ringing in the ears; numbness or tingling; weak or irregular heartbeat; seizures; collapse; coma; death ...


EPA Region IV managers have decided to follow the precedent they set at the Agrico site, leaving all the surface contaminants in an onsite "containment"(which like all landfills, will eventually leak).

However, plans have not yet been finalized for the groundwater contamination that threatens Bayou Texar, Escambia Bay, and Pensacola's drinking water aquifer.

EPA will present a plan for groundwater in early 2008. Public involvement can make the difference between a real cleanup and a ineffectual coverup. For more information, contact Frances Dunham by email or at 850-932-3077.


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