Sunday, April 06, 2008

Elkhart Indiana Gets SuperFund Research Money for Groundwater Contamination

Cedarcreek Wisconsin also gets $2.7Million

The Lusher Street ground water contamination site in Elkhart, Indiana has been added to the Superfund National Priorities List. The NPL is a list of the nation's most contaminated hazardous waste sites eligible for cleanup under EPA's Superfund program.

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. Research has shown 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. With the site's addition to the NPL, it will be eligible for additional study and cleanup resources, and hopefully the source will be identified.

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

A $2.7 million cleanup plan for the Cedar Creek Mercury Marine Plant Superfund site in Cedarburg, Wisconsin has been approved which involves excavation of soil at the Plant site plus ground-water monitoring. A separate plan to address ground-water contamination will be done at a later date.

PCBs from two local companies - now-closed Amcast and Mercury Marine - contaminated Cedar Creek (from below the Ruck Pond Dam to its intersection with the Milwaukee River), the Plant 2 property, the former Amcast property and some nearby private properties. EPA Superfund involvement at the site began in 2003. Mercury Marine and Wisconsin DNR began studying the site in 1983.

PCBs were once widely used by industry as coolants, insulators and lubricants. The manufacture of PCBs in the United States was stopped in 1977, but the compound stays a long time in the environment. They are linked to cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental problems in people and animals. PCB-contaminated river sediment affects fish, wildlife and people as it rises through the food chain. In the 1970s, Wisconsin advised residents not to eat fish from various rivers throughout the state because of the contamination. The advisories are still in effect.

Click here to find links to the Federal Register notice concerning the Elkhart groundwater contamination, information on submitting comments, background on the NPL process and summaries of the sites newly added or proposed.

Click here to find copies of the Cedar Creek study detailing the final cleanup plan, the Record of Decision and other site documents.

It should be noted by all that these are perfect examples of corporate eco-terrorism committed against the people of the United States who now have to foot the bill to clean up some these asshole's messes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic they get research money, when if the pols and the EPA had properly protected them in the first place the groundwaters wouldn't be contaminated?