Commitment Precision & Results - Jacksonville, Florida

San Souci News

Emergency hookups

\r\nThrough negotiating efforts with JEA, Wilner Block has secured an agreement in principle for JEA to pay, immediately,the full cost of hookups to city water for both drinking and irrigation and to pay for water for at leastthree months. JEA is circulating a letter describing this plan to all residents. We are aware of the contentsof this letter and agree in principle with them.The details of this plan are given below. The agreement is aninterim agreement only and does not limit claims for damages, including past and future water costs, cleanupcosts, decreases in real estate values, or medical issues. These claims will be addressed in the future.Homeowners in the San Souci area will be contacted in the near future to discuss how the hookups can be made.\r\n

Emergency hookup plan details

\r\nThe emergency hookup plan is being finalized as of 11/13/2003. This plan provides:\r\n

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  1. Emergency hookup of 68 homes in the San Souci area to city water for both irrigation and drinking.See a list of the 68 homes (pdf).
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  3. No water charges for 3 months.
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\r\nThe plan is an emergency plan only and is not by any means a final solution or agreement. It does not limit anyfuture claims, including claims for water cost or property value loss, or for medical conditions, and it may beextended to other properties in the future. See Our Comprehensive Plan below.If you are in the affected area youwill receive a letter from JEA shortly outlining this agreement. If you have any questions, contact GinnySteiger at 904-354-8310.\r\n

Background

\r\nIn late 2003, Wilner Block was asked to investigate possible contamination in the San Souci area. After receivingreports from residents Wilner Block formally requested the entire file from all state and local agencies under theFreedom of Information Act. Documents first revealed from this request have shown that JEA has known about the water contamination for some time, but failed to notify the residents of San Souci because JEA did not "wantanother Hipps Road." Other documents show a long history of coverup.Based on Florida Department of Environmental Protection reports and the reports from other consultants, Wilner Block is recommending all homeowners in the San Souci area cease immediately the use of shallow well water for either drinking or irrigation. This is based on the presence of chlorinated compounds known as TCA and DCE, both found in test wells in the area for some time. The levels are thought to exceed the maximum safe concentrations set by state and federal agencies. Here is a detailed review of the health consequences of these chemicals. These chemicals are thought to have originated in a spill of TCA at the JEA substation at Hogan Road. TCA is a "dense nonaqueous phase liquid" or DNAPL, which behaves underground very differently from more "normal" pollutants. For a technical discussion of DNAPL contamination download this document. For a more detailed technical summary of our understanding of the contamination in general download this document.\r\n

Our comprehensive plan

\r\nWilner Block is attempting to address the contamination issues in the following ways:\r\n

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  1. Negotiate with JEA immediate plans to disconnect all existing wells and provide city water for drinkingand irrigation. Negotiate for immediate "buyouts" of heavily impacted residents.
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  3. Call upon the city Health Department to immediately test all wells in the affected area and immediatelyto report the results to us. To download our letter to the Health Department click here.
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  5. Define, with the help of our consultants, the true extent of the contamination and determine whichhouses and properties are adversely affected by the contamination.
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  7. Conduct a scientific review of the contamination, including assessment of past testing and a plan forfuture testing to evaluate water safety and quality.
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  9. Evaluate real estate value impacts because of contamination issues and make claims for real estate valueloss on behalf of affected residents.
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  11. Evaluate whether the high disease and cancer rate suffered by San Souci residents can be traced to watercontamination and whether individual residents have suffered diseases from water contamination.
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  13. Pursue claims for past and future water and hookup costs, real estate devaluations, and losses fromdisease in the proper cases, through negotiation and litigation.
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Agreement necessary

\r\nPlease note: in order to help San Souci residents with these claims, it is necessary for Wilner Block to have anagreement for your representation. If you have not signed such an agreement please call us at 904-475-9400 and ask for Susan or e-mail smorris@wilnerblock.com\r\n

Further information and downloads

\r\nFor more detailed information, you can download the following:\r\n

Our Location

444 E. Duval Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Map

Phone: (904) 446-9817
Facsimile: (904) 446-9825
Toll Free: (800) 913-6646

E-Mail: info@wilnerfirm.com