Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 5


EPA ID# IND980684583
Last Updated: March, 2015

Site Description

The 5-acre Poer Farm Superfund site is located on a small hill between two streams and along East County Road about three miles north of Wilkinson, Indiana. The site is an abandoned tract of land with a collapsed house and barn that have been vandalized. The surrounding area is open farmland that is being tilled. Agricultural lands completely surround the site and the nearest residence is about 650 feet to the north.  Approximately 500 people live three miles north of the site in Wilkinson, and 2,300 people live five miles away in Knightstown, Indiana.

The Poer Farm site consisted of three separate areas where Norman Poer and Michael Coleman received and stored about 275 55-gallon drums of waste solvents and paint resins from 1973 until 1983. Poer and Coleman had planned to blend these materials into a low-quality paint for painting area bridges and barns. They abandoned the project and left the 55-gallon drums containing the paints and solvents on the site.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspected the site in 1983 and found that the drums were leaking and that the vegetation surrounding the area was damaged. EPA analyzed the drum contents and surrounding soils and found the soil to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals derived from the paint materials in the drums. As a result, EPA proposed to place the Poer Farm site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1983.

Site Responsibility

The Poer Farm site was addressed through federal and state actions. 

Threats and Contaminants

Soil at the Poer Farm site contained VOCs, including toluene, xylene, and ethyl benzene, and heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, and lead. EPA sampled the entire site following its emergency cleanup action (see Cleanup Progress) and found no significant levels of contamination remained that could pose a threat to human health or the environment. Therefore, people living near the site are not at risk from exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Cleanup Progress

EPA conducted an emergency removal action at the Poer Farm site in 1983 before the site became final on the NPL in September 1984. EPA removed all drummed wastes as well as six to eight inches of soil from the drum storage areas and disposed of all solid and liquid wastes in off-site waste facilities.

In 1985, the site potentially responsible party (PRP) signed a consent order with EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in which it agreed to reimburse EPA for its emergency response action costs and for oversight costs to evaluate whether residual contamination remained. Based on the results of a 1985 EPA study and a 1988 study conducted by the site PRP, EPA determined that its removal and disposal of wastes conducted in 1983 had eliminated the health threats posed by the site and that no further cleanup actions were warranted.

EPA issued a Record of Decision in September 1988 that called for "No Further Action" to be taken at the Poer Farm site. EPA issued a site close-out report on August 30, 1990, and then deleted the Poer Farm site from the NPL on February 11, 1991.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
howard caine (caine.howard@epa.gov)
(312) 353-9685

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.


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.