Indianapolis site added to EPA's Superfund list

September 7, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday added an 18-acre contaminated groundwater site on the west side of Indianapolis to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the nation’s most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites.

The area of the contamination is bounded by West Vermont Street on the south, Holt Road on the east, West Alley 700 North on the north and Grand Avenue in Speedway on the west.

The EPA calls the area the “West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination Site.”

The EPA said it has been working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Marion County Public Health Department since 2009 to clean up the plume of groundwater, which is contaminated with organic solvents.

In 2015, homes and properties in the area were connected to city water after tests found high levels of vinyl chloride in drinking-water wells at three residences.

Vinyl chloride is a man-made chemical used in making a variety of plastic and vinyl products. Investigators still haven’t identified the source of the contamination.

The EPA said the plume still has the potential to move toward additional residential wells and two municipal well fields that serve more than 18,000 residents. It is also assessing whether vapors from the contaminated groundwater are seeping into homes and properties.

A year ago, the EPA proposed adding the West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination Site to the Superfund National Priorities List. The proposal has since been approved. Sites added to the list are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term permanent cleanup.

In addition to the local site, the EPA added 48 sites in Colorado to the Superfund list and nine other sites in eight states and Puerto Rico.

The Colorado designations involved the inactive Gold King Mine, which spewed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into rivers in three Western states.

The other sites added to the Superfund list Wednesday:

— Argonaut Mine, Jackson, California.

— SBA Shipyard, Jennings, Louisiana.

— Anaconda Aluminum Co. reduction plant, Columbia Falls, Montana.

— Wrappinger Creek, Dutchess County, New York.

— Valley Pike volatile organic compounds, Riverside, Ohio.

— Groundwater contamination, Dorado, Puerto Rico.

— Eldorado Chemical Co., Live Oak, Texas.

— North 25th Street glass and zinc, Clarksburg, West Virginia.


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