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U.S. EPA REGION 5
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY
SOUTH BEND

Congressional District # 03

BECK'S LAKE

EPA ID# IND980904379
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

The Beck's Lake Site is named for the man-made six-acre lake in LaSalle Park, located along Washington Street on South Bend's west side.  LaSalle Park is located on a former industrial dump which operated from the 1930s to the 1950s.  Historic aerial photography from 1938 and 1951 show fill material being dumped where the western half of the park is currently located.  Beck's Lake was apparently formed from a borrow pit area after the dump site closed.  The borrow pit soils were used to cover housing demolition debris, and now form a sledding hill just west of Beck's Lake.

The site came to EPA's attention in the 1980s when Bendix Corporation was required to notify the agency of former waste disposal activities.  Materials listed in the notification as possibly being disposed at the site include asbestos, plating wastes, solvents, paint wastes, oils and sludges, and arsenic-contaminated foundry sand.  Bendix was not the only source of waste at the site, but its plant was only 1/4 mile away, and it was one of South Bend's largest manufacturers at the time.

Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed by potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The site was investigated by EPA in the 1990s, and was ultimately given a "No Further Remedial Action Planned" designation in 1996.  During a subsequent Brownfields Investigation by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, high levels of arsenic were detected in neighborhood surface soils, and the site was reopened in 2003.  The site was sampled again in 2009.  This confirmed the arsenic soil contamination, and the site was placed on the NPL by EPA in December 2013.

Cleanup Progress

The Beck's Lake Site will undergo a complete Remedial Investigation (RI).  An RI investigates the "nature and extent" of contamination in all media so that a comprehensive human health risk assessment can be made.  In addition to the known arsenic contamination, all other potential sources of contamination and exposure in the soil, surface water and groundwater will be evaluated.

Although the arsenic levels detected in soils during the site assessment significantly exceed background concentrations in the surrounding area, they are generally considered safe, and are well below levels that EPA has used as benchmarks for cleanups at other EPA sites.  New data and a human health risk assessment from the completed RI will determine if a cleanup is necessary.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
owen thompson (thompson.owen@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4843

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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