by Thomas P. Healy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its efforts to remediate the 2.2-acre Keystone Corridor Superfund site on Keystone Ave.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management worked for years to remediate the former Tuchman Cleaners site before asking EPA to assume control in 2013.
In advance of taking groundwater, soil, and air samples in the area, an EPA contractor conducted interviews in September 2015 [PDF] at the Marion County Health Department offices in the Meadows.
To seek potential interviewees, Francisco Arcaute, EPA spokesperson for Region V in Chicago, said the agency mailed notices to almost 900 residents, business owners, and schools located within the site boundary and to public officials and community service organizations that provide services in or close to the site. “Additional copies for the public were sent to the public library,” he said, adding that Marion County Health Department staff went door to door and handed out the notices to residents in the northern part of the site boundary and also left notices with several health clinics in the area.
He said the information gathered in the confidential interviews would be used to draft a Community Involvement Plan as part of EPA’s ongoing community outreach about the project. “The interviews provided us with good information on the level of interest in the site, frequently asked questions, and preferred methods of communication and information by residents and interested parties near the Keystone Corridor site,” Arcaute said. EPA is reviewing a draft of the plan that will be distributed early next year for additional public comment.
Arcaute said EPA remediation activities on the site during 2015 included the removal, transportation, and disposal of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants. “EPA conducted vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation at nearby residential properties,” he said. This involved working with homeowners to test 41 properties, 22 of which required mitigation.
“Vapor mitigation included the installation of a sub-slab depressurization system, which involves connecting an electric fan to a small suction pit dug into the slab in order to vent vapors outdoors,” Arcaute said. Depressurization systems were also installed to reduce radon, moisture, and mold inside of structures.
Arcaute said the agency is currently working on scheduling and access agreements with property owners in order to conduct groundwater, soil, and air sampling in 2016. “Sampling is likely to begin in February 2016 when the contractor is available to start work,” Arcaute said.
A version of this article ran in the December 2015/January 2016 print edition of the magazine.
Download a PDF of the EPA’s Community Involvement Plan for the Tuchman Superfund Site.