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U.S. EPA REGION 5
ELKHART COUNTY
Elkhart

Congressional District # 02

LUSHER STREET GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION

EPA ID# IND982073785
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

Lusher Street Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site is located in Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana and occupies about 870 acres. The boundaries for the Lusher Site are the St. Joseph River on the north; State Road 19 (Nappanee Street) on the west; Hively Avenue to the south and Oakland Avenue to the east. The estimated population living within the Site boundary is approximately 2,600. The Site is composed of mixed residential, commercial, and industrial areas bisected by a railroad yard and served by a mix of private wells and public water supply wells. Industrial and commercial activities in Elkhart include the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, recreational vehicles, mobile and modular homes, band instruments (such as woodwinds), tape, corrugated containers, and foam and plastic products. The Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination site is a groundwater plume contaminated with chlorinated solvents from a number of sources which have not been fully investigated.

Site Responsibility

Although, this site is being addressed through federal and state actions, potentially responsible parties’ (PRPs’) actions are being pursued.  

Threats and Contaminants

The groundwater under the site is primarily contaminated chlorinated VOCs, including tetrachloroethene (PCE); trichloroethene (TCE); chloroform; 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA); and vinyl chloride. The most common pathways for exposure to contaminants in ground water are drinking contaminated water, breathing vapors from contaminated water, or coming into direct contact with contaminated water when showering. 

Cleanup Progress

In the late 1980s, Indiana’s Health Department found elevated levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) groundwater welss. Subsequently, EPA installed point-of-use carbon filters in 13 residences and businesses to reduce contaminant concentrations to below the acceptable safe drinking water standards, and converted seven residences’ and business’ water supply from private wells to municipal water. Municipal water lines were extended to many of the impacted properties. In 2006, additional wells exceeded drinking water levels for chlorinated solvents were identified. In the fall of 2007, the Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination site was proposed for listing on the National Priorities List (NPL), and in March of 2008, the listing was finalized. In 2009, EPA began two phases of the Remedial Investigation (RI) to investigate the sources, nature, and extent of the contamination. EPA performed field work between 2010 through 2012. Based on the field work conducted, the Lusher Groundwater Contamination Site was organized into two operable units (OUs):

Operable Unit 01: Contaminated Groundwater

Operable Unit 02: Source areas responsible for the contaminated groundwater.

A Focused OU-1 RI/FS was completed in in November 2013. An Interim Action Record of Decision for OU-1 was finalized on September 16, 2014. This interim remedial action requires a) the connection to municipal drinking water supply for  and b) installation of a vapor intrusion mitigation system at buildings where vapor intrusion from contaminated groundwater poses an unacceptable risk to human health. EPA is currently pursuing PRPs to implement this remedial action. 
 

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
karen kirchner (kirchner.karen@epa.gov)
(312) 353-4669

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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