Energy & Environment and Environment

Indy firm to clean up tainted Terre Haute site

December 13, 2012

The cleanup of a contaminated former industrial site in western Indiana is expected to begin after years of study.

Terre Haute officials this week awarded a $2.7 million contract to an Indianapolis company for the removal of soil to a depth of 10 feet on much of a 20-acre site where Terre Haute Coke and Carbon operated from 1926 until 1988.

"This is our first major step for redevelopment of the site and reclamation of the site," Pat Martin, city planner, told the Tribune-Star.

HIS Constructors Inc., which was hired for the first phase of the cleanup, had the second-lowest bid for the work, Martin said. The only lower bid did not include all the required documentation, he said.

The company's website says it is currently handling several remediation projects in Indiana and elsewhere in the Midwest.

Jim Nance, vice president of business development for HIS, said it wasn't yet clear when soil removal will begin at the Terre Haute site.

"This is our first major step for redevelopment of the site and reclamation of the site," Martin said.

City officials hope to eventually develop the site as an industrial park.

The cleanup is expected to involve the removal of at least 80,000 cubic yards of soil and to take about nine months to complete. The site is contaminated with arsenic, lead and other hazardous substances that officials said were byproducts from the production of coke, a hardened fuel formed by baking coal at high temperatures.

The city assumed ownership of the entire 52-acre property on the city's south side two years ago and officials hope it will become a commercial development area.
An additional 20-acre portion at the rear of the property, which also contains contaminants, will remain untouched until the city obtains money for future cleanup work, Martin said. Ten groundwater monitoring wells around the property have not found any of the pollutants moving from the site, he said.

The cleanup project will be paid as part of a $150 million bond issue by the city that includes money for a new $115 million wastewater treatment plant.
 

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