ST. JOSEPH COUNTY
Congressional District # 03
BECK'S LAKEEPA ID# IND980904379
Last Updated: May, 2015
The Beck's Lake Site is named for the man-made six-acre lake in LaSalle Park, located along Washington Street on South Bend's west side. LaSalle Park is located on a former industrial dump which operated from the 1930s to the 1950s. Historic aerial photography from 1938 and 1951 show fill material being dumped where the western half of the park is currently located. Beck's Lake was apparently formed from a borrow pit area after the dump site closed. The borrow pit soils were used to cover housing demolition debris, and now form a sledding hill just west of Beck's Lake.
The site came to EPA's attention in the 1980s when Bendix Corporation was required to notify the agency of former waste disposal activities. Materials listed in the notification as possibly being disposed at the site include asbestos, plating wastes, solvents, paint wastes, oils and sludges, and arsenic-contaminated foundry sand. Bendix was not the only source of waste at the site, but its plant was only 1/4 mile away, and it was one of South Bend's largest manufacturers at the time.
The site is being addressed by potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.
Threats and Contaminants
The site was investigated by EPA in the 1990s, and was ultimately given a "No Further Remedial Action Planned" designation in 1996. During a subsequent Brownfields Investigation by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, high levels of arsenic were detected in neighborhood surface soils, and the site was reopened in 2003. The site was sampled again in 2009. This confirmed the arsenic soil contamination, and the site was placed on the NPL by EPA in December 2013.
The Beck's Lake Site will undergo a complete Remedial Investigation (RI). An RI investigates the "nature and extent" of contamination in all media so that a comprehensive human health risk assessment can be made. In addition to the known arsenic contamination, all other potential sources of contamination and exposure in the soil, surface water and groundwater will be evaluated.
Although the arsenic levels detected in soils during the site assessment significantly exceed background concentrations in the surrounding area, they are generally considered safe, and are well below levels that EPA has used as benchmarks for cleanups at other EPA sites. New data and a human health risk assessment from the completed RI will determine if a cleanup is necessary.
Community InvolvementRepresentatives of EPA interviewed LaSalle Park residents in May 2015 regarding the Beck’s Lake Superfund site. These interviews will help Agency experts better understand community concerns and information needs. EPA will use the information to write the Community Involvement Plan for the site.
If you were not available to meet with us while we were in town, you may contact us to schedule a phone interview at another time. For questions or special accommodations, contact the EPA's Community Involvement Coordinator.
ContactsRemedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
jenny davison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA