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Congressional District # 2,5


EPA ID# IND001213503
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Continental Steel Superfund site is located along West Markland Avenue in Kokomo, Indiana.  It was operated by Continental Steel, and its predecessors, from approximately 1914 to 1986.  Operations ceased at the site when Continental Steel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The facility produced nails, wire, and wire fence from scrap metal.  Operations included steel reheating, casting, rolling, drawing, pickling, galvanizing, tinning, and tempering. The site is located in a mixed residential, commercial, and industrial use area and is mainly zoned for general use. The closest residents are located within 100 feet of the eastern fence line of the property, along South Leeds Street.

The site is situated above three geologically significant aquifers. It encompasses approximately 183 acres and is divided into six operable units, consisting of an abandoned steel manufacturing facility (Main Plant), pickling liquor treatment lagoons (Lagoon Area), a former waste disposal area (Markland Avenue Quarry), a former waste disposal and slag processing area (Slag Processing Area), on-site creeks, and groundwater.

The site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989.  An interim Record of Decision (ROD) for the demolition and decontamination of the Main Plant buildings was signed in September 1996. A ROD, which outlined the final remedy for the entire site, was signed in September 1998.  It was subsequently amended in 2003 to address new information gathered from predesign investigations performed by EPA in 2000-2001 and a five-year review performed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in 2002. 

On September 21, 2010, IDEM and EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) for the Crushed Drum Area and the Acid Lagoon Area.  Three five-year reviews have also been completed for the Site, with the last being conducted in 2012. The next five-year review of the site remedy is planned for August 2017.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals associated with site activities were found (groundwater, soil, sludges and sediments) at the site. Approximately 1,600 people obtain drinking water from private wells within three miles of the site, the nearest one being about 1.3 miles from the site.

Cleanup Progress

Several response actions have been conducted at this site since 1989, significantly reducing the risk to the nearby community. In 1989-1990, IDEM treated and discharged the waste acid solution and stablized metal sludge from the Lagoon Area. From 1990 to 1994, EPA removed 2,450 buried drums, 1,250 cubic yards of contaminated soil, 90 cubic yards of lead dust, 121 cubic yards of PCBs, 2,284 tons of solidified soil, over 200 chemicals from a former metallurgical laboratory, and recycled 65,647 gallons of No. 6 bunker oil. Removal of lead-contaminated residential soils was completed in December 1998. Building demolition and decontamination work at the Main Plant was completed in mid-2000.

All design work for the selected remedial action was completed in July 2004. This design work was (Super)fund-financed, with EPA as the lead agency and IDEM as the technical support agency.  The work (design, construction, implementation) was fund-financed because there were no viable potentially responsible parties (PRPs) at the site.

In the spring of 2005, EPA and IDEM determined that a redesign of the Lagoon Area (eliminating the need for construction of an on-site landfill) would reduce overall cost, provide more redevelopment options, and have greater community acceptance. Work on the redesign was completed in the spring of 2006, and it included some changes in the creek and quarry portions of the site, since hazardous sediments originally planned to be placed in the on-site landfill would instead be shipped off-site.  The design plans for the Creek Area, the Lagoon Area, Main Plant, and Markland Avenue Quarry were finalized in 2002-2004, and 2006.

Construction of the Main Plant (OU5) remedy was initiated by IDEM in 2000.  In 2006, IDEM removed 12 underground storage tanks and associated wastes, and 676 cubic yards of buried asbestos-containing material.  In addition, IDEM completed the contaminated soil consolidation and the construction of the cover.  The Main Plant cleanup work was completed in 2009.  The Remedial Action Report for the Main Plant was finalized on March 12, 2011.

Construction of the sediment dewatering area and drying beds at the Lagoon Area was completed by EPA in 2005.  In April 2007, EPA moblized to begin creek dredging.  Dredging was completed in December 2007.  28,000 tons of contaminated sediments were dredged from the creeks.  Stabilization and restoration work in the creeks was completed in November 2008. The Remedial Action Report for the creeks was finalized on September 8, 2010.   

EPA and IDEM conducted additional studies to determine if VOCs, through vapor intrusion, could be impacting homes located near the Markland Avenue Quarry.   Air and soil gas sampling were performed in June 2003, March 2005, April 2009, and Winter 2010.  The investigations indicated that potential impacts to indoor air through vapor intrusion may exist; however, it is unlikely that the Quarry is the source of the contaminants.  The contaminants of concerns for the Quarry-impacted groundwater are tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and dichloroethylene (DCE).  Although these contaminants were detected throughout the study area, the lack of detections and very low concentrations in homes in closest proximity to the Quarry sugguest that the Quarry is not the source of contamination.

Markland Avenue dredging was completed in October 2008.  17,494 cubic yards (27,990 tons) of contaminated sediments were excavated from the Quarry.  Quarry backfilling and cover installation began in April 2009 and was completed June 2011.  The Remedial Action Report for the Quarry was finalized on March 12, 2011. 

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), $5.9 million was made available to commence work at the Slag Processing Area and to implement the groundwater remedies.  The Slag Processing Area work started in September 2009 and was completed in October 2010.  The Remedial Action Report for the Slag Processing Area was finalized on August 3, 2011. 

The Site-wide Groundwater Remedy includes the installation of a soil vapor extraction system (SVE) at the northwest corner of the Main Plant Area and a groundwater extraction system at the Site.  The groundwater extraction system was installed in Spring 2011 and was started on October 6, 2011. The groundwater extraction system is designed to intercept contamination in the upper aquifer. The SVE system installation was completed January 1, 2011, and it was started on January 13, 2011.  All SVE work was completed by December 2012.

On August 30, 2012, EPA signed the third statutory five-year review for the Site. The review concluded the remedy is protective in the short-term. The review found that the following actions must be taken for the remedy to be protective in the long-term: continued groundwater extraction and monitoring, and institutional controls must be implemented.

On September 13, 2012, the Remedial Action (RA) report was approved for Operable Unit #2 (Acid Lagoons Area).  On-site slag material was used as a fill in the Acid Lagoons Area. This resulted in a faster settlement period, saving the project money, and allowing the RA construction completion to be achieved four years earlier than planned. Any settlement/cap repair issues will be addressed as part of the operation and maintenance (O&M) activities at the site.

EPA completed the Site-wide Preliminary Closeout Report (PCOR) on August 1, 2013.  The PCOR documented the completion of all construction activities at the Site.  All required Institutional Controls are in place and effective.  The Site achieved Site-wide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU) status on August 28, 2014. 

Success Story

EPA utilized free fill available from the the Howard County Kitty Run Storm Water Project for the Markland Quarry backfill.  This allowed the County to move forward with this much needed Storm Water Project, and saved the project about $2,500,000.

A total of 15 Indiana contractors or subcontractors were involved in the ARRA funded work, creating at least 45 temporary jobs.  ARRA funds were used to install three wind turbines that are providing approximately 50% of the power needed to operate the groundwater pump and treatment system. 

Community Involvement

EPA and IDEM continued to inform the community about the on-going groundwater O&M work at the Site, current reuse plans for the Markland Quarry and the Acid Lagoon Area, and future reuse plans for the Main Plant.  EPA and IDEM held a media event in November 2009 to update the public about the $5.9 million in funding made available from the ARRA for this site. 

Property Reuse

EPA worked with the City of KoKomo on reuse plans for the Markland Quarry, the Acid Lagoon Area, and the Main Plant.  The City of Kokomo is using the Quarry as a storm water retention/detention basin.  The City of Kokomo and the Kokomo Soccer Club will use the Acid Lagoon Area for soccer practices and games, as well as regional tournaments and camps.  The City of Kokomo and Duke Energy are planning to install a solar array at the Main Plant.   


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nabil fayoumi (fayoumi.nabil@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6840

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
janet pope
(312) 353-0628




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This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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