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U.S. EPA REGION 5
ELKHART COUNTY
ELKHART

Congressional District # 03

LANE STREET GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION

EPA ID# INN000510229
Last Updated: April, 2015

Site Description

The Lane Street Ground Water Contamination site is located at the edge of Elkhart, Indiana, on the northeast side. The area on Lane Street consists of only residential properties, and is bound to the north by County Road 106, to the east by Kershner Lane, to the south by other residential subdivisions, and to the west by farm land.

The site includes a plume of contaminated groundwater from an unidentified source that extends toward the south from an industrial park, under County Road 6, to an area of homes located along Lane Street. The contamination includes trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chlorinated solvents at levels higher than what are considered safe. These contaminants were first discovered in August 2007 when a resident reported contamination in a private well water sample tested after unrelated contamination was discovered under an adjacent street. EPA proposed the site for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 2009. EPA finalized the site on the NPL on September 14, 2009. The NPL is a roster of the nation’s hazardous waste sites eligible for investigation and cleanup under the EPA Superfund Program.

Site Responsibility

State and federal actions are addressing the Site.

Threats and Contaminants

Site groundwater is an unacceptable as a source of drinking water due to contamination. The contaminants of concern in the groundwater include trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chlorinated solvents including 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA), 1,1-dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-l,2-DCE), trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (trans-1,2-DCE), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).

TCE is a volatile organic compound (VOC) used primarily as an industrial solvent. The most common use of TCE is to remove grease from fabricated metal parts and in the production of some textiles. It is also an ingredient in some products including adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers.

Cleanup Progress

Following the 2007 discovery of the contaminated well at one of the homes on Lane Street, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) sampled the wells at other homes on the street. The wells at several homes were also contaminated. Initially, the IDEM furnished bottled water to about 13 homes whose wells were either contaminated or near contaminated wells. Later, EPA provided water filtration systems to these 13 homes. After further investigation of the contamination, EPA connected the 26 homes on the street and adjoining streets that had private wells to the municipal water supply.  EPA completed the work in November 2008. The other homes on Lane Street were already connected to the municipal water supply.

EPA conducted a remedial investigation of the site in response to the contamination. Sampling events occurred in 2011, 2013 and in 2014 and included soil, soil vapor and groundwater sampling in the residential and industrial areas.   The 2011 results indicated groundwater contamination may be deeper than 60 feet below ground surface (bgs), which was the maximum depth advanced during this investigation. The contaminants of concern in the groundwater include trichloroethylene (TCE), 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). The soil sample results did not show VOC contamination at the Lane Street site, indicating that there may be other sources of contamination.  EPA discussed the 2011 sample results in detail during a public meeting at the Osolo Elementary School on May 22, 2013.

The 2013 investigation found the contaminant TCE, its breakdown product  cis-1,2-dichloroethene, 1,1-DCA, and PCE in the groundwater samples. Site related contaminants were not found in any of the soil or soil vapor samples with the exception of PCE that was found in one soil vapor sample within the industrial area of the site.

Due to data anomalies associated with some analytical laboratory data discovered in 2014, it was determined that organic data collected during the 2011 sampling event was of unknown quality and  could not be used for making investigative decisions.  EPA's contractor mobilized to the Site in September 2014 to resample several locations.  The results of the resampling efforts were consistent with the previous findings.

EPA will use the results from the remedial investigation to try to determine the source of the contamination and identify appropriate long-term measures for groundwater remediation. Once the remedial investigation report is complete EPA will inform residents of the findings and recommend future actions.  It is expected that EPA will ask for public comments on a cleanup proposed plan in 2016.

 

Community Involvement

In October 2008, EPA hosted a public information session to discuss the water hookups planned for homes with TCE contamination and to give residents an opportunity to ask questions about the site. A letter was sent to residents on Lane Street informing them that they were eligible for connection to the city of Elkhart municipal water supply at no charge.

In May 2011, EPA held a public meeting to give an update on site activities and to give residents an opportunity to ask questions. EPA also conducted interviews with local residents and city officials to gather information to better understand the concerns and information needs of the community.

Using information from research, public meetings and community interviews, EPA developed a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) that EPA updated in December 2012. The CIP describes EPA’s plan for addressing concerns and keeping residents informed and involved in the site cleanup activities. It also provides information on the Superfund process, site background information and a profile of the city of Elkhart. The CIP is a working document that will evolve as the investigation and cleanup process continues and input is received from the community. It is intended to be flexible, adaptable and used as a guideline for EPA’s communication with the Lane Street site community.

A public meeting was held on May 22, 2013 at the Osolo Elementary School.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leslie blake (blake.leslie@epa.gov)
(312) 353-7921

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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