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EPA adds Elkhart site to Superfund list

Release Date: 09/23/2009
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov (IDEM) Barry Sneed, 317-232-8596

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA178

(CHICAGO - Sept. 23, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination site in Elkhart, Ind., to the Superfund National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. A public comment period on the proposed listing of the site ended in June.

The Elkhart Superfund site lies beneath Lane Street south of County Road 106 and extends into the industrial park to the north. In 2007, Elkhart County Health Department and Indiana Department of Environmental Management found chlorinated solvents including trichloroethylene, or TCE, in area ground water. TCE is a colorless liquid. Drinking or breathing high levels of TCE may cause nervous system effects, liver damage and impaired heart function.

Initially, IDEM provided bottled water to 13 homes. In late 2007, EPA provided water filtration systems for these homes. In November 2008, EPA completed a construction project connecting the 13 homes with filter systems and 13 additional homes-a total of 26-in the area to city water. Next, EPA and IDEM will investigate the potential source or sources and extent of the contamination and then propose a remedy to address it.

Other EPA Region 5 sites added to the NPL today: the Little Scioto River near Marion, Ohio, and the Amcast Industrial Corp. site in Cedarburg, Wis. Two other sites in EPA Region 5 were proposed for the NPL: Chemetco, a closed steel mill in Hartford, Ill., and Gratiot County Golf Course, a contaminated soil site in St. Louis, Mich. Nationally, 11 new sites were added to the NPL and 10 sites were proposed for addition to the list. Under the NPL process, sites are first proposed and public comments considered before a determination is made to formally add a site to the list.

To date, there have been 1,607 sites on the NPL. Of these sites, 336 have been deleted resulting in 1,271 sites currently on the NPL (including the 11 new final sites added in today's rulemaking). With the proposal of the 10 new sites, there are 66 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 61 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. There are a total of 1,337 final and proposed sites.

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://epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm. Detailed information about the Lane Street site is at http://epa.gov/region5/sites/lanestreet.

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