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Congressional District # 2


EPA ID# IND005480462
Last Updated: January, 2012

Site Description

The site comprises approximately 15 acres immediately north of Indiana State Route 2 and one-quarter mile from U.S. Highway 421 in the Town of Westville, LaPorte County, Indiana. The site is bordered on the south by a residential neighborhood, on the east by three private residences, on the north by County Road 400 South and agricultural land, and on the west by an abandoned railroad easement and agricultural land. Immediately southwest of the site is a large auto salvage yard. The site, formerly known as Westville Oil Division of Cam-Or, collected, stored, and re-refined waste oil from 1934 until 1987 when it ceased operations. The facility purchased waste oil from a variety of generators, including service stations, industrial facilities, railroad yards, and pipelines. The waste oil was re-refined for use in automotive- and industrial-grade lubricating oil blends.

In addition to selling its product in bulk, the company also packaged motor oils at its Westville cannery. Onsite lagoons were constructed around 1959 and used until at least 1978 for waste oil storage/disposal and for gross separation of oil and water fractions. All lagoons were excavated in native sandy soils with no bottom liners to prevent or restrict waste seepage into the underlying soils and groundwater. Analyses of samples collected in 1984 and 1985 indicated the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and lead in lagoon wastes. The lagoon diking systems have a documented history of breaching during heavy precipitation events. 

In June 1978, state investigators traced an oil spill in Crooked Creek upstream to the site, which was identified as the source of the release. The release caused a fish kill in Crooked Creek, which is used to irrigate agricultural crops and support a trout fishery and spawning area. In August 1980, Cam-Or reported an additional oil release to Crooked Creek. Releases of hazardous substances were further evidenced by contaminated soil adjacent to the site in Forbes Ditch, which drains to Crooked Creek. Crooked Creek is a tributary of the Kankakee River. 

In July 1986, a Toxic Substance Control Act consent agreement and final order was filed in which Cam-Or agreed to remediate the PCB-contaminated lagoons at the site. An action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to address heavy metals, VOCs, and semivolatile organic compounds was also initiated. However, Cam-Or failed to proceed with any cleanup. Instead, Cam-Or began to liquidate all assets and ceased processing waste oil as of February 1987. In 1987, United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Emergency Removal Program initiated a removal action to mitigate the imminent and substantial threat posed by conditions at the site. 

In September 1989, the U.S. EPA issued a unilateral order to a number of potentially responsible parties requiring them to undertake, among other things, the following: 

  1. characterize, and remove for disposal, any remaining wastes in aboveground tanks followed by cleaning of the tanks; 
  2. excavate acidic sludges from onsite lagoons, solidify, backfill, and cover with a cap; 
  3. characterize the northwest quadrant of the site, which contained buried sludges and contaminated soils, this area was subsequently capped as part of the removal action; and 
  4. install down gradient monitoring wells and conduct four quarters of sampling. 

Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed through federal, state and potentially responsible parties actions.

Threats and Contaminants

A large area of contaminated soil is present in the western half of the site. Limited analyses (absent PCBs and inorganics) detected the presence of the benzene, tolvene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) compounds, chlorinated and non-chlorinated compounds, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL) is present in the southwestern portion and immediately southwest of the site.   

Groundwater is contaminated by a number of VOC's, including BTEX and chlorinated and non-chlorinated compounds. Compounds detected above MCLs include: benzene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, and trichlorethene. Of the contaminants detected in offsite wells, 1,4-dioxane is the primary contaminant of concern, as its presence has been documented approximately 2500 feet down gradient of the site at concentrations up to 10,000 ppb. (The potentially responsible parties (PRPs) are undertaking additional work to define the lateral extent of the plume). Low levels of contamination have been detected in several of the private wells downgradient of the site. In addition, the primary contaminant, 1,4-dioxane, has been detected at approximately 6,500 ppb in a monitoring well immediately upgradient of, and at depths comparable to, many of the private wells in the area. 

Cleanup Progress

In 1987, the EPA conducted a site assessment to determine the presence of an immediate threat posed by conditions at the site.  Based upon the site assessment, EPA conducted a removal action which included consolidation and on-site stabilization of PCB-containing oils; treatment and discharge of 9.5 million gallons of wastewater: collection and containment of 1 million gallons of oil from on-site lagoons and Forbes ditch; sampling of approximately 120 drums; installation of groundwater monitoring wells; closure and backfilling of eight oil-filled lagoons; consolidation of PCB-contaminated lagoon wastes; and regrading the site to facilitate runoff and minimize ponding.

Since 1995, the PRPs have undertaken some voluntary investigative work at the site that has primarily focused on limited characterization of groundwater and onsite soils. In January 1997, EPA initiated an investigation of the site to fully determine the nature and extent of contamination. This work, known as an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis, was funded by Region 5's Superfund program. Extensive field work was initiated in April 1997 that entailed: 1) the installation and sampling of groundwater monitoring wells; 2) surface water and sediment sampling near the site; and 3) collection of onsite and offsite soil samples.  In 1998, the PRPs submitted a Demolition Plan to demolish and remove all aboveground structures on the Cam-Or site including buildings, tanks, piping, and other debris.  This work was completed in 1998. 

An Administrative Order on Consent was finalized on April 25, 2002 between the EPA and the PRPs to do an RI/FS at the site. The draft workplan for the RI/FS was finalized on 8/19/2003. RI field work was completed in January 2004 and a draft RI/FS report was submitted September 2005.  A supplemental Draft  RI, Revision 1, was submitted in February 2006.  A final RI report Revisions 3, was submitted and approved in July 2007.  The final Feasibility Study was submitted in September 2007 and was approved on October 11, 2007.  EPA developed a Proposed Plan, which was issued in December 2007 which outlined the proposed remedy for the site.  On June 10, 2008 a Record of Decision was signed by EPA which outlines the remedy for the site.

On December 22, 2010, a consent decree in the United States v. Alcoa, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 3:10-cv-532, was lodged with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. They are both plaintiffs in this consent decree. This consent decree required, among other things, the defendants to design and perform a remedial action to address the  hazardous releases from the Cam-Or Site. Specifically, the consent decree required the defendants to construct and operate a soil containment system, to design, install, operate and maintain a groundwater pump and treat system, to design, install, operate, and maintain a light non-aqueous phase liquid remediation system, to install and operate a monitoring system for the remedial action, and to develop and implement a plan for institutional controls at the Site. Additionally, the parties are required to reimburse past and future remedy costs incurred by the United States and Indiana. The consent decree was entered in 2011. EPA is currently in the process of reviewing the remedial design work plans submitted by the PRPs.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
lolita hill (hill.lolita@epa.gov)
(312) 353-1621

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325




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


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