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Chemical cleanup planned at old factory site

August 16, 2013

Plans are being made to clean up decades-old chemical contamination at the central Indiana site of a former auto parts plant.

The trust created to clean up and sell former General Motors properties has set aside about $7 million for the work at the Kokomo factory where GM Delco circuit boards were made until 1991.

Cleanup manager Bob Hare told the Kokomo Tribune that the project will bring the property up to environmental standards for industrial uses. Hare is working for the RACER Trust, the same bankruptcy-created organization that hopes to find a new use for the former GM stamping plant near downtown Indianapolis.

The trust is in charge for cleaning up and marketing GM "legacy" sites in14 states.

The Kokomo site north of the city's downtown was used for various factories from 1915 before the Delco plant was torn down in 1993. Officials say the soil is contaminated with now-banned carcinogenic chemicals such as those used in solvents.

The cleanup work is expected to start next spring.

Apperson Brothers Automobile Co. constructed a building on the site in 1915. It was used by radio-cabinet maker Wolfe Bros. from the mid-1920s until the late 1930s.

Reliant Manufacturing took over the property in the late 1930s, calling it the "Prosperity" plant,. It made women's clothes and parachutes there until 1953, when GM took it over to make circuit boards.

 

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