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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: December, 2011

Site Description

The Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination site is a groundwater plume contaminated with chlorinated solvents located in Elkhart, Indiana.  The borders of the ground water plume have been initially established as an area bounded on the north by the St. Joseph River, on the west by Nappanee Street, on the south by Hively Avenue, and on the east by Oakland Avenue. (It should be noted that although the site was named “Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination Site,” Lusher Street is actually Lusher Avenue).  The sources of the chlorinated solvents have not yet been definitively identified. 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible parties’ (PRPs’) actions.  

Threats and Contaminants

The contaminants of concern in the ground water plume are:  1,1,1-TCA (1,1,1-trichloroethane); TCE (trichloroethylene); 1,1-DCE (1,1-dichloroethylene); and other chlorinated solvents.  The contaminants 1,1,1-TCA and TCE are typically used as degreasing agents, parts cleaners, foam plastic blowing agents, and engine cleaners.  The contaminant 1,1-DCE is typically used in making adhesives, synthetic fibers, refrigerants, food packaging, and coating resins.  Most chlorinated solvent contaminants can affect the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys, and some are suspected or known to cause cancers.  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 sampled over one hundred wells in the area, of which many, including many private drinking water wells, were found to contain elevated levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA).  Subsequently, EPA installed point-of-use carbon filters in 13 residences and businesses to reduce contaminant concentrations below the acceptable safe drinking water standards, and converted seven residences’ and business’ water supply from private wells to municipal water.  Following additional water testing by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), municipal water lines were extended to the majority of impacted properties. 

In 2006, additional sampling by IDEM found 12 additional wells in which contaminants exceeded drinking water levels for chlorinated solvents, and EPA also sampled vapors in residences with higher levels of ground water contamination.  Residents were supplied with bottled water and point of use carbon filters for drinking water.

The State of Indiana referred the site to EPA because a long term comprehensive solution is needed to protect the drinking water wells and residences in the area.  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 a Phase I Remedial Investigation (RI) to investigate the sources, nature, and extent of the contamination.  This field investigation was completed in two rounds: April 2009 through May 2009 and in October 2009.  The investigation report for the 2009 field work was completed in March 2010.  The March 2010 report identified a number of facilities that may be a potential source of groundwater contamination at the Lusher Site.  EPA is gathering additional information from these potential source facilities prior to make a decision.  In 2010 EPA initiated a phased RI to investigate the nature and extent of groundwater contamination.  As part of this 2010 RI field work, EPA collected approximately 50 residential well samples in August through October 2010.  As of November 2011, EPA has collected more than 100 groundwater samples at discrete depth intervals from 16 boring locations, installed 20 monitoring wells at 7 locations, collected approximately 40 subsurface soil samples at various locations scattered throughout the site.  Additional field investigations are being planned for 2012 to complete the RI/FS for the groundwater component of the site.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
syed quadri (quadri.syed@epa.gov)
(312) 886-5736

 

Site Profile Information

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

 


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