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EPA, IDEM and local officials continue joint efforts in AMACOR fire cleanup

Release Date: 3/23/2005
Contact Information:

William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254
Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050
Joe Munoz, (312) 886-7935
Ken Rhame, (312) 353-6720

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA032

CHICAGO (Mar. 23, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the Madison County Health Department and the city of Anderson have completed their review of a company plan to remove debris from a Jan. 14 fire at the AMACOR magnesium recycling plant in Anderson, Ind., and are continuing their joint efforts to finish the cleanup.

Today, EPA, state and local officials and AMACOR representatives began visiting homes in the neighborhoods affected by the fire to hand out fact sheets that warn residents not to handle debris and to get permission for debris removal, since homeowner cooperation is essential for cleanup. Some homeowners in residential areas south of the plant have already requested debris removal, and cleanup of those properties has been underway since the day of the fire.

EPA, IDEM and local officials have agreed that protection of residents, workers and the environment is of the highest priority, and that release of potentially hazardous materials in the debris will be minimized. EPA and IDEM will continue monitoring the removal and cleanup of the debris already begun by HydroTech, an environmental contractor hired by AMACOR.

So far, no asbestos has been detected in air samples collected in the area targeted for cleanup. Some asbestos was detected in debris that fell in the neighborhood south and southwest of the AMACOR plant after the fire. The factory roof, which was built around 1969, contained asbestos. Asbestos was used for many years as a fire-retardant in construction material.

After the fire, the Madison County Health Department distributed flyers warning residents of the affected area bounded by 32nd Street, 47th Street, Columbus Avenue and Scatterfield Road not to handle debris found around their homes. Residents are asked to call AMACOR at 643-5873 or HydroTech at 642-1581 about removing debris from their property.

All cleanup work will be done during daylight hours. Residents with technical questions or concerns should call EPA On-Scene Coordinator Ken Rhame at (312) 353-6720 or (800) 621-8431.

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