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State, utility plan cleanup of long-closed gas plant

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Indiana's environmental agency and Duke Energy Corp. are moving ahead with the cleanup of a long-closed manufactured-gas plant.

Duke spokesman Lew Middleton told the Shelbyville News that work was scheduled to begin Tuesday at the Shelbyville site about 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

The Shelbyville plant operated from about 1886 to 1928. Manufactured-gas plants of the same type were common in the late 1800s and early 1900s before pipelines brought natural gas to the Midwest.

Tar was one of the byproducts of manufactured gas, and Middleton says tar and other residue was stored in pit that now must be cleaned up.

Duke will work with other companies and agencies to remove the contaminated soil and put it in licensed landfills. State inspectors will oversee that work.

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