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U.S. EPA REGION 5
ELKHART COUNTY
ELKHART

Congressional District # 03

LANE STREET GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION

EPA ID# INN000510229
Last Updated: April, 2013

Site Description

The Lane Street Ground Water Contamination site is located at the edge of Elkhart, Indiana, on the northeast side. The area on Lane Street consists of only residential properties, and is bound to the north by County Road 106, to the east by Kershner Lane, to the south by other residential subdivisions, and to the west by farm land.

The site includes a plume of contaminated groundwater from an unidentified source that extends toward the south from an industrial park, under County Road 6, to an area of homes located along Lane Street. The contamination includes trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chlorinated solvents at levels higher than what are considered safe. These contaminants were first discovered in August 2007 when a resident reported contamination in a private well water sample tested after unrelated contamination had been discovered under an adjacent street. The site was proposed for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 2009. The site was finalized on the NPL on September 14, 2009. The NPL is a roster of the nation’s hazardous waste sites eligible for investigation and cleanup under the EPA Superfund Program.

Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The groundwater has become unacceptable as a source of drinking water. The contaminants of concern in the groundwater include trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chlorinated solvents including 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA), 1,1-dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-l,2-DCE), trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (trans-1,2-DCE), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).

TCE is a volatile organic compound (VOC) used primarily as an industrial solvent. The most common use of TCE is to remove grease from fabricated metal parts and in the production of some textiles. It is also an ingredient in some products including adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers.

Cleanup Progress

Following the discovery of the contaminated well at one of the homes on Lane Street, the wells at other homes on the street were sampled and analyzed. The wells at several homes were found to also be contaminated. Initially, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) furnished bottled water to about 13 homes whose wells were either contaminated or near contaminated wells. Later, EPA provided water filtration systems to these 13 homes. After further investigation of the contamination, EPA connected the 26 homes on the street and adjoining streets that had private wells to the municipal water supply, completing this in November 2008. The other homes on Lane Street were already connected to the municipal water supply.

In April and May 2011, EPA contractors conducted vertical aquifer sampling (VAS) at 25 different locations within the residential area as well as the industrial area of the Lane Street site. The goal of the VAS sampling was to delineate both the horizontal and vertical extent of groundwater contamination and to possibly determine the source of the contamination.

Approximately 170 groundwater samples and 14 soil samples were collected during the field event. The results indicated groundwater contamination may be deeper than 60 feet below ground surface (bgs), which was the maximum depth advanced during this investigation. The contaminants of concern in the groundwater include trichloroethylene (TCE), 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). The soil sample results did not show VOC contamination at the Lane Street site, indicating that there may be other sources of contamination.

The next steps will be further investigation of the contamination to determine its extent and to try to determine its source. This will be followed by a determination of the best means for addressing the contamination.

Community Involvement

In October 2008, EPA hosted a public information session to discuss the water hookups planned for homes with TCE contamination and to give residents an opportunity to ask questions about the site. A letter was sent to residents on Lane Street informing them that they were eligible for connection to the city of Elkhart municipal water supply at no charge.

In May 2011, EPA held a public meeting to give an update on site activities and to give residents an opportunity to ask questions. EPA also conducted interviews with local residents and city officials to gather information to better understand the concerns and information needs of the community.

EPA used several information sources including research and information received from public meetings and community interviews to develop a Community Involvement Plan (CIP), updated December 2012. The CIP describes EPA’s plan for addressing concerns and keeping residents informed and involved in the site cleanup activities. It also provides information on the Superfund process, site background information and a profile of the city of Elkhart. The CIP is a working document that will evolve as the investigation and cleanup process continues and input is received from the community. It is intended to be flexible, adaptable and used as a guideline for EPA’s communication with the Lane Street site community.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leslie blake (blake.leslie@epa.gov)
(312) 353-7921

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
janet pope
(312) 353-0628

Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.

 


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