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EPA adds Elkhart, Ind., site to Superfund list

Release Date: 03/19/2008
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov; Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA042

(Chicago, Ill. - March 19, 2008) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today named the Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination site in Elkhart, Ind., for addition to the National Priorities List. The NPL is a roster of the nation's most contaminated hazardous waste sites eligible for cleanup under EPA's Superfund program. A public comment period about the proposed listing was held last fall.

The Lusher site is an underground plume (mass of contaminated water) of industrial solvents, including TCA (1,1,1-trichloroethane) and TCE (trichloroethylene). The plume area is bordered to the north by the St. Joseph River, to the west by Nappanee Street, to the south by Hively Avenue, and to the east by Oakland Avenue. Recent data indicates the plume is moving northward toward the river. In 1987 and 2006, EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management provided alternate water supplies to area residents. Further investigation is needed to determine the scope of contamination and the sources of the plume as well as possible cleanup options. With the site's addition to the NPL, it will be eligible for additional study and cleanup resources.

Nationally, 12 new hazardous waste sites were added to the NPL, with six sites proposed for addition to the list. The Lusher site was the only new or proposed site in EPA Region 5, the Great Lakes states. To date, there have been 1,581 sites listed on the NPL. Of these, 324 sites have been deleted from the list, resulting in 1,257 sites currently on the NPL. Cleanup construction has been completed at 1,031 sites. There are now 60 proposed sites awaiting final agency action.

Links to the Federal Register notice, information on submitting comments, background on the NPL process and summaries of the sites newly added or proposed are at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm.

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