CHICAGO — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added the Broadway Street Corridor Groundwater Plume site in Anderson, Ind. to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) and proposed the Cliff Drive Groundwater Contamination Plume to the NPL. These additions represent the agency’s commitment to advance Superfund cleanups to protect communities across the country.
“In adding these sites to the NPL, EPA is carrying out one of our core responsibilities to the American people,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Cleaning up sites that pose risks to public health and the environment is a critical part of our mission and it provides significant health and economic benefits to communities across the country.”
“Adding sites to the NPL is the last step in the process to secure federal funding for the cleanup,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “EPA is working in close coordination with Indiana and local officials to clean up groundwater contamination.”
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the municipal water supplies in Anderson meet the Safe Drinking Water Act standards. The Broadway Street Corridor site has contaminated groundwater in one of Anderson’s two municipal well fields with concentrations of trichloroethene (TCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-1,2 DCE) and vinyl chloride. Despite several investigations in the area, the origin of the contaminants is unknown.
Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) has been detected in the Logansport wellfield at the Cliff Drive Groundwater Contamination site. At this time, the groundwater plume has no identified source. The municipal water supply is being treated and meets the Safe Drinking Water Act standards, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill and strengthen EPA’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. Since October 2017, EPA has deleted 10 full sites, and 2 partial sites from the NPL.
The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only sites on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.
EPA initiates Superfund involvement at sites when states, tribes, or communities ask for the agency’s help, or when the agency finds contamination during its own investigations. Sites are deleted from the NPL once the agency completes all response actions and achieves all cleanup objectives. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), which established the Superfund program, requires EPA to update the NPL annually.
The Superfund program has been providing important health benefits to communities across the country for more than 35 years.
Superfund cleanups also strengthen local economies. Data collected through 2017 shows that at 487 Superfund sites in reuse, approximately 6,600 businesses are generating $43.6 billion in sales and employ 156,000 people who earned a combined income of $11.2 billion.
The NPL is one focus area of the 2017 Superfund Task Force Recommendations to improve and revitalize the Superfund program. On July 23, 2018, EPA released the Superfund Task Force 2018 Recommendations Update.
The 2018 Recommendation Update can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/
The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/
For information about Superfund and the NPL: http://www.epa.gov/
For more information about the Broadway Street site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/
For more information about the Cliff Drive site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/
SOURCE: News release from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the proposed site listing narrative, the contamination was first discovered in 1994 and has remained constant for more than 20 years. Despite several investigations in the area by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the origin of the contaminants has not yet been determined. The document states that the concentrations do not exceed the Safe Drinking Water Act Maximum Contaminant Levels and the water is blended and disinfected before it is distributed to residents.
Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell said in an e-mail today that IDEM initially found the issue when they “randomly drilled in locations around our wellfield (at state hospital) to determine any potential contamination.”
“It’s not the fault of LMU,” Kitchell says.
He also says it will not cost Logansport taxpayers.