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Congressional District # 4


EPA ID# IND084259951
Last Updated: March, 2015

Site Description

The approximately 6-acre Envirochem Corporation site is located on the east side of U.S. Highway 421, west of Northside Sanitary Landfill, and north of Zionsville in Boone County, Indiana. The site is an inactive facility that processed and reclaimed solvents from 1977 until 1982, when the State closed the site. Wastes such as resins, paint sludges, waste oils, and flammable solvents were received in drums and bulk tankers and were stored onsite in drums and storage tanks. On-site accumulation and unauthorized discharge of contaminated storm water, poor management of drum inventory, unapproved burning of chlorinated hydrocarbons and other solvents, and several spills led the State and the United States Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the site. Over 20,000 drums and 400,000 gallons of waste remained onsite. Additionally, contaminated underground and aboveground storage tanks and wastewater in holding ponds were present. Approximately 50 people live within one mile of the site. A rainstorm caused a waste pond to overflow into an unnamed ditch onsite and then to Finley Creek. In 1985, the State noted that runoff from the site enters the Eagle Creek Reservoir via Finley Creek. The city of Indianapolis uses the Eagle Creek Reservoir for part of its drinking water supply.

Site Responsibility

EPA is the lead Agency in partnership with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management overseeing the responsible parties' cleanup of the site.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals, including barium, lead, and nickel. VOCs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), phenols, and phthalates are contaminating the soils. People could be exposed to contaminants by coming into direct contact with or accidentally ingesting contaminated groundwater or soil.

Cleanup Progress

In 1983 and 1984, EPA and a group of 254 potentially responsible parties, using a negotiated agreement called a Consent Decree (CD), performed immediate actions that included removing and treating waste from onsite storage tanks, removing and treating 5,650 cubic yards of soils contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), phenols, and phthalates and fencing the site. Bulk tanks and treating water from cooling ponds were removed in addition to over 3,000 drums of waste and 167,000 gallons of liquid waste from tanks. EPA also removed two underground storage tanks, cleaned and disposed of bulk storage tanks and miscellaneous piping, and placed a clay cap on the surface of the site. The holding pond was drained and capped, and the pond water was sent offsite to an approved facility for treatment. The entire site was then covered with soil and seeded, and drainage channels were set up to control rainwater that runs onto the site. In 1985, EPA installed a sump and collected over 20,000 gallons of groundwater, contaminated with high levels of VOCs and heavy metals, including barium, lead, and nickel.

In 1987, EPA selected the following cleanup remedies: installation of a permanent cap over the site and installation of a system to pump and treat contaminated groundwater. In 1991, EPA amended the selected remedy to include soil vapor extraction (SVE) rather than groundwater collection and treatment.  This new remedy was constructed in 1998 by the responsible parties under a negotiated CD with EPA and the State of Indiana, and was expected to significantly reduce the time required to attain the final clean up of the site. The Responsible Parties predicted that the soil vapor extraction system would need to operate for approximately two years before soil cleanup standards are met. The SVE system is now shut down and cleanup standards have not been met.

In April 2003, EPA completed a five-year review for the remedy concluding that additional work is necessary. Under the CD, additional work is also required because the cleanup standards were not met by November 2003. EPA, IDEM, and the trustees representing the responsible parties for the site have negotiated modifications to a trench system including enhancing the SVE system to treat the faster moving contaminants and using a barrier wall and a treatment unit called a Permeable Reactive Gate System (PRGS) for the slower moving contaminants. An Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD) documenting these modifications was signed in September 2006.   EPA completed a second five-year review for the remedy in March 2008.

 EPA signed the Preliminary Close-out Report for the site on September 3, 2009 certifying that construction of the additional work is subtantially complete. However, operation of the enhanced SVE system has not significanlty reduced the levels of contaminants in groundwater.  In November 2010, the trustees representing the responsible parties began testing the PRGS to evaluate its performance given the current contaminant levels in groundwater.  The testing demonstrated that the PRGS was unable to properly treat the water.  The trustees focused the SVE system on Trenches 3 and 6 in the summer of 2011.  After receiving poor results from testing zero valent iron treatment, the trustees are conducting investigations to help prepare additional remedial alternatives that will be reviewed by EPA and IDEM.   

EPA issued a five-year review evaluating the protectiveness of the remedy for the site in April 2013.  EPA's five-year review recommended that the trustees for the site complete additional investigation and evaluations and propose additional remedial measures.  The trustees completed the first Support Zone Assessment and an evaluation of the water flows affecting the collection system in 2014.  Additional system evaluation is ongoing.  The remedy is expected to be protective of human health and the environment upon completion of an effective remedial action, and in the short term, exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled. Institutional controls (ICs) are in place and effective.  EPA will review ICs once final remedy elements are established.

Community Involvement

A public comment period for the ESD started on June 22, 2006 and ended on July 21, 2006.  Some comments were received and addressed as part of the finalization of the ESD.

Property Reuse

The trustees representing the responsible parties have shown interest in redevelopment of the site and EPA is supportive of appropriate reuse provided it is protective of the remedy for the site.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
matthew ohl (ohl.matthew@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4442

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




Site Profile Information

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


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