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Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# IND980500524
Last Updated: January, 2012

Site Description

Lake Sandy Jo is a 50-acre landfill located in a residential section of Gary, Indiana, bordered by Interstate-80/94 to the south. The site is a former water-filled borrow pit that was used as a landfill between 1971-1980. Various wastes, including construction and demolition debris, garbage and industrial wastes, and drums are believed to be buried onsite. Approximately 1,900 people live within three miles of the site.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater, sediments, surface water, and soils contain heavy metals such as arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, and silver; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) include methylene chloride and chloroform, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the pesticide DDT. The soils are also contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phthalates, and heavy metals. People who come into direct contact with or accidentally ingest contaminated groundwater, soil, surface water, or sediments may be at risk.  

Cleanup Progress

All work at this site was performed with federal funds. A final cleanup decision was reached in September 1986. The site was fenced to limit access in 1986. Site soils and sediments were covered with clean soil, and the site was reseeded with prairie grasses. This action was completed in 1990. A drinking water line extension was constructed in 1994 that allows for 50 additional connections. Thirty-two locations have connected to the water line extension. In September 1994, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a Preliminary Close-out Report (PCOR) indicating that remedial construction at the site was complete.  Currently the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)is the lead agency with assistance and oversight by EPA. 

A five-year review, dated January 18, 1996, which EPA concurred with on March 26, 1996, concluded that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.  A second five-year review for the site was completed in September 2001 and confirmed that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

A third five-year review for the site was completed in September 2006 and concluded that the site is protective of human health and the environment only in the short term because the required institutional controls had not been implemented. Institutional controls, such as restrictive covenants and groundwater ordinances, are necessary on the landfill property and surrounding areas for the long-term protectiveness of the site.

The fourth five-year review was completed in July 2011.  The results of that review are that the remedial actions for the Site are currently protective of human health and the  environment in the short-term. However, because the required ICs have not been  implemented, the Site is not protective of human health and the environment in the long-term. In order for the remedy to be protective in the long-term, effective institutional controls must be implemented, monitored maintained and enforced.  The follow-up IC actions that must occur include the following: 1) ensure that environmental covenants are recorded for remaining properties at the Site; request an additional groundwater ordinance to be put into place to restrict all groundwater use in both on-site and off-site areas affected by the remedial action and 3) ensure long-term stewardship.  These actions are underway through a collaborative effort between EPA and IDEM.  The IDEM, with EPA oversight, is overseeing the remedy including securing institutional controls, monitoring the groundwater, and maintaining the soil cover.

The next five-year review is due by July 2016.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
sheri bianchin (bianchin.sheri@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4745

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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