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EPA and Responsible Companies Sign Agreement

Technical Assistance Plan

Public meetings, Tuesday, April 13, 2004

As part of the legal agreement, the responsible companies will provide up to $50,000 to a qualified community group to hire its own technical adviser. As work progresses, the adviser may be asked to:

Town of Pines, Pines, Indiana
April 2004

The companies responsible for the ground-water contamination in the Town of Pines have agreed to pay for new municipal water connections for most households in the Town.

The water service is a key part among a series of future steps mandated for the companies, which signed a pair of consent orders with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 this week.

Over the past two years the four responsible companies – NIPSCO, Brown Inc., Ddalt Corp., and Bulk Transport Corp. – have spent nearly $2 million to bring Michigan City water to about 130 homes in Pines. Despite this effort, EPA continued to find evidence of contaminated drinking water in other parts of the community. This new agreement addresses these new areas of concern.

The responsible parties have agreed to immediately supply bottled water to an additional approximately 140 newly identified homes until new water service is connected. Once this is complete, nearly all homes in the Town of Pines will be on Michigan City water.

Separate from the 140 homes scheduled to receive new water connections, another approximately 70 residences to the south and west of Pines will also receive bottled water as a precautionary measure while more studies are conducted. The 70 homes include residences in the far western corner of Pines in a triangular area encompassing Pine, Poplar and Highway 12; and residences south of Highway 20 on Old Railroad, South Railroad, on Ardendale to Old Chicago, and about a half mile southwest along Old Chicago. Under the second signed consent order, provisions for this group of homes may be revised in the future, following a long-term study of the area called a remedial investigation/feasibility study. This long-term study, performed by the four responsible companies, will assess any long-term human health and ecological risks associated with the site.

Next steps
Design work for the latest water hook-up project is expected to begin in a few weeks with construction scheduled for 2005. Work on the long-term pollution and health study will also begin soon. EPA will oversee both the water hook-up project and the long-term study with support from IDEM.

The two agreements also mean that it will no longer be necessary to include the Town of Pines on EPA,s National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

Site history
The Pines site is located approximately five miles west of Michigan City and two miles south of Lake Michigan.

For about 30 years, the Yard 520 Landfill, which is south of Pines, accepted hundreds of thousands of tons of industrial waste fly ash from industries in the area.

From August 2000 through November 2002, EPA and IDEM sampled water and ground water (underground sources of fresh water) in residential wells in the area and monitoring wells installed around the landfill. Elevated levels of boron, manganese and molybdenum were detected in some of the residential wells. EPA supplied bottled water to these homes. In November 2002, EPA received sampling results from monitoring wells installed in the Yard 520 Landfill. These results indicated that the landfill was the source of contamination in the area.

In January 2003, an Administrative Order by Consent was signed with NIPSCO and Brown Inc. This legal action required these companies to perform the cleanup work as outlined by EPA.

For more information
If you would like additional information about the site, please contact one of the contacts for this site.

Read official documents
Official government documents on the Pines site are available for your review at the Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. Fourth St.

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