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Congressional District # 9


EPA ID# IND006038764
Last Updated: August, 2010

Site Description

For approximately 35 years prior to 1981, the Tri-State Plating facility located in Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana, was used by Hull Industries and Quality Plating Service Company. The site covers approximately 1.5 acres. In 1981, Tri-State Plating purchased the facility and begun electroplating operations. Contamination problems first were detected at the facility in 1983 when the Bartholomew County Health Department and the Indiana State Board of Health (ISBH) inspected the site and found that soils contained high concentrations of cyanide and heavy metals. Later in 1983, elevated levels of chromium were found in water from a nearby well. In 1984, after finding that Tri-State Plating was discharging contaminated wastewater, the city of Columbus instructed the company to install a treatment system to control the contamination in the wastewater discharged to the city's sewer system. Later in 1984, when a treatment system had not been installed, the city blocked off the sewers leading from the Tri-State Plating facility and shut off the company's water supply. Tri-State Plating discontinued operations in 1984.

The nearest residence is adjacent to the site's boundary and approximately 2,000 people live near the site. The city of Columbus now has a population of about 40,000 people, some of whom are served by a well field located near the site.

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed using federal funds.

Threats and Contaminants

The ground water was contaminated with chromium. The soil was contaminated with heavy metals, which included cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, and arsenic. The ground water posed an unacceptable risk if individuals were exposed via ingestion and/or direct contact. There was the potential that Haw Creek could become contaminated by the hazardous materials present at the site. 

Cleanup Progress

On June 5, 1987, a fence was constructed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent site access; and, on August 26 and 27, 1987, 20 drums containing inorganic materials were removed and disposed of at a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility. On September 24, 1987, EPA removed and disposed of seven more drums and collected seven samples of building material that included ceiling bricks and floor materials. In the fall of 1987, EPA performed a limited soil removal action, which included decontamination of the building located on-site.

An expedited response action (ERA) was conducted in 1989. During the ERA contaminated soil was excavated. All on-site structures were decontaminated and demolished. The soil, building debris, and asbestos containing materials found during the course of the cleanup were sent to either state- or federally-regulated landfills. The excavated area was backfilled with clean soil, the fence was removed, and the site was regraded and revegetated.

The selected site cleanup remedy was documented in a Record of Decision (ROD) signed on March 30, 1990. The remedy for the facility was to extract and treat the contaminated ground water using the existing on-site extraction wells. A Superfund Site Interim Close Out Report was signed on June 10, 1992 that signaled that site construction had been completed. The ground water remediation goals were met in 1995 and all cleanup activities were completed in the spring of 1997. This site was deleted from the National Priorities List on July 14, 1997.

Property Reuse

The site is currently available for unlimited use and unlimited access.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
bernard schorle (schorle.bernard@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4746

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
mike joyce
(312) 353-5546

Site Profile Information

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


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