LOGANSPORT — On May 13, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Cliff Drive Groundwater Contamination site in Logansport, Ind. is one of seven sites nationwide that is being added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) where releases of contamination pose human health and environmental risks.
“Cleaning up groundwater contamination is important to enhance the safety of the drinking water supply in Logansport,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Listing the site is a big step forward in protecting local residents.”
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 (IDEM).
“IDEM appreciates its close partnership with the U.S. EPA,” said IDEM Commissioner Bruno Pigott. “By adding this site to the NPL, residents of Logansport can rest assured that their drinking water will remain safe to consume for decades to come.”
The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at sites included on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.
“By adding these sites to the National Priorities List, we are taking action to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated sites, protect the health of the local communities, and return the sites to safe and productive reuse,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Our commitment to these communities is that sites on the National Priorities List will be a true national priority. We’ve elevated the Superfund program to a top priority, and in Fiscal Year 2018, EPA deleted all or part of 22 sites from the NPL, the largest number of deletions in one year since Fiscal Year 2005.”
In addition to the Cliff Drive site, the following six sites are also being added to the NPL:
- Magna Metals in Cortlandt Manor, New York
- PROTECO in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico
- Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area in Minden, West Virginia
- McLouth Steel Corp in Trenton, Michigan
- Sporlan Valve Plant #1 in Washington, Missouri
- Copper Bluff Mine in Hoopa, California
While EPA may find contamination during its own investigations, EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement because states, tribes or citizens ask for the agency’s help.
Community partnerships are critical to Superfund site cleanups. EPA’s goal is to involve community partners in the cleanup process at every site, including exploring future site uses, thereby giving EPA the best chance of transforming the site into a productive community resource.
Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program has achieved significant reductions in birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24% within 3 miles of sites after cleanup.
Redeveloped Superfund sites can generate a great deal of economic activity. Thanks to Superfund cleanups, previously blighted properties are now being used for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. At 529 Superfund sites returned to productive use, 8,600 businesses operate and 195,000 employees earn more than $13 billion in annual income.
The Superfund Task Force is working to improve the Superfund program. EPA has implemented nearly half of the Task Force’s recommendations to expedite site cleanups and redevelopment and expects to complete the remaining recommendations by July 2019.
For information on Cliff Drive Groundwater Contamination site:
EDITOR’S NOTE: In September 2018, the EPA proposed that the site be added to the National Priorities List. More info here.
SOURCE: News release from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency