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Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# IND980794432
Last Updated: August, 2010

Site Description

The Ninth Avenue Dump is a former chemical and industrial waste disposal site located in Gary, Indiana. The seventeen-acre parcel is located in a mixed industrial and commercial area, though there is a residential area approximately one-eighth mile to the west.  Gary has an estimated population of 100,000. Waste disposal at the site occurred from the early to mid-1970s. The site operator accepted dry industrial, construction, and demolition wastes. The site also received liquid industrial wastes, including oil, paint solvents, sludges, resins, acids, and other chemical wastes.  In 1975, the existence of drums on the surface was documented and evidence was found that liquid wastes had been dumped at the site.  Some filling, believed to have been associated with cleanup activities, occurred between 1975 and 1980.  Around that time, the operator removed drums, tank cars, and some contaminated soils from the site. In early 1985, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took over site studies from the site operator. The site is north of a State of Indiana maintenance facility that formerly housed an outdoor salt storage pile and, consequently, the groundwater contains salt.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

At the time of the remedial investigation, groundwater was found to be contaminated with: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene, toluene, and xylenes; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); and heavy metals, including nickel and silver.  In one part of the site's subsurface, there was a light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL).  This LNAPL was a mixture containing many hydrocarbons and other organic compounds, which floated on top of the groundwater.  As much of the LNAPL was removed as was technically possible.  The rest of this contamination was surrounded by a slurry wall tied into a natural barrier that exists under the contaminated area, and the area was covered with a multilayer cap.  A soil vapor extraction system was operated in this area for several years to remove additional contaminants and destroy others.  The site is fenced and institutional controls in the form of deed restrictions have been placed on about 85% of the original facility.  Deed restrictions have not been placed on the entire site because agreements have not been reached with the other property owers.  The institutional controls provide protection for the remedy and contribute to the isolation of the contamination.  The lack of complete coverage of the contaminated area with deed restrictions could result in damage to the remedy and contact with the contamination in the future.

Cleanup Progress

The Agency selected an interim remedy in September 1988 and a final remedy in June 1989.  An Explanation of Significant Differences was issued in October 1991, and a Record of Decision Amendment was issued in September 1994.  Construction at the site was completed in September 1995 by a group of the PRPs. 

For the interim remedy, a slurry wall was installed around the contamination and an extraction and treatment system was installed for the removal and treatment of the LNAPL.   Treatment comprised separation of the LNAPL from the water, treatment of the water, incineration (off-site) of the LNAPL, and reinjection of the water inside the slurry wall.  A treatment system for surface water was also installed to allow the discharge of excess surface water.

For the final remedy, an intermediate slurry wall was installed inside the original slurry wall in order to preserve the existing surface water pond.  A Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C cap was placed over eleven-acres surrounded by these slurry walls.  A soil vapor extraction (SVE) system was installed to reduce the amount of contamination under the cap.

The site is presently being maintained. Deed restrictions that restrict access to groundwater and prevent uses that would damage the remedial work have been placed on all but one of the parcels that constituted the original facility.  A five-year review report was issued in September 2000 and a second report was issued in September 2005. 

The SVE system was shut down in October 2002 in order to determine if an active system was still needed.  Based on the test results it has been determined that it will be sufficient to equip the eight former injection wells with turbine ventilators and use the eight former extraction wells as injection wells. This will provide some flow under the cap so that organics will continue to vent or be biologically destroyed. This system has been installed and the site continues to be monitored.  

The 2005 five-year review showed that the remedy had been implemented in accordance with the decision documents, except for the fact that not all of the institutional controls have been implemented due to property owners not reaching agreements for such controls.  Otherwise, the remedy is functioning as anticipated.  The remedy is protective of human health and the environment in the short term.  It is not protective in the long term because some of the institutional controls have not been implemented.  EPA is continuing to seek implementation of these institutional controls.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leslie blake (blake.leslie@epa.gov)
(312) 353-7921

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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