Hazardous Waste Cleanup: DuPont Facility - East Chicago, Indiana
- Cleanup Status
- Site Description
- Contaminants at this Facility
- Institutional/Engineer Controls
- Land Reuse
- Site Responsibility
The former DuPont East Chicago facility is located in East Chicago, Indiana. In 1997, EPA issued an Administrative Order on Consent for the former DuPont East Chicago facility under EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) authority after an initial wide-ranging study of soil and groundwater conditions at the site was performed. The Order said, among other things, that DuPont must perform a RCRA Facility Investigation to determine the nature and extent of any releases of hazardous waste from the facility. The company was also required to implement interim remedial measures where necessary and submit a corrective measures study to identify and evaluate cleanup alternatives. In February 2015, the DuPont facility was transferred from DuPont to Chemours, a new wholly-owned subsidiary of DuPont, because of a corporate reorganization.
On June 29, 2018, Chemours informed EPA that it had conveyed title to the former DuPont facility and the W.R. Grace and Company lease, to East Chicago Gateway Partners, LLC a property redevelopment firm. EPA will require DuPont, Chemours, Grace and Gateway to implement the cleanup and long-term monitoring requirements of EPA’s Final Decision. On November 16, 2018, EPA announced that the current and past owners agreed to a $26.6M cleanup of the facility. E.I. du Pont Nemours and Company, Chemours Company FC, LLC, and East Chicago Gateway Partners, LLC agreed to perform the cleanup work under a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) order.
The $26.6 million comprehensive soil and groundwater cleanup continues at the Former DuPont East Chicago Facility. To date over 23,307 cubic yards (CY) of metals contaminated soil has been removed from the source areas in the Northern Area of the facility along with the in-situ stabilization (ISS) of an additional 5,404 CY of deeper saturated soils. The excavation and off-site disposal of soils from all 8 of the northern source areas was completed in 2020. The remaining 12 source areas are in the Southern Area of the facility and are scheduled to be completed in 2021. Baseline groundwater sampling of the southern network of wells has been completed, performance monitoring began in the northern network of wells, and the preliminary groundwater treatment for the northern and southern groundwater injection zones is scheduled begin in the Spring of 2021.
On August 9, 2019 EPA issued an approval of the Corrective Measures Implementation (CMI) Work Plan, Remedial Construction Phase I for the Former DuPont East Chicago Facility, located in East Chicago, Indiana. The CMI Work Plan details the requirements for the design, construction and operation of corrective measures at the Former DuPont East Chicago Facility, pursuant to the RCRA § 3008(h) Administrative Order on Consent (Docket No. RCRA-05-2019-003). The order was signed by the former owners, E.I. du Pont Nemours and Company and Chemours Company FC, LLC, as well as its current owner, East Chicago Gateway Partners, LLC on November 16, 2018 with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5. The work detailed in the CMI Work Plan and under the order will implement the corrective measures selected by EPA in the July 18, 2018 Final Decision and Response to Comments document.
The entire former DuPont East Chicago facility is approximately 440 acres. The property is bounded to the south by the East Branch of the Grand Calumet River, to the east and north by residential and commercial areas, and to the west by an industrial area.
Development of the East Chicago property was largely confined to approximately 230 acres in the western portion of the site.
- The southern section of the developed area was used for chemical manufacturing.
- The northwestern section and northeastern edge of the site were used for waste management.
- Most of the previously active manufacturing areas have been decommissioned and the production facilities removed.
- The exception is the 30-acre southwest corner of the site where industrial facilities continue to operate under a lease to a separate owner, W.R. Grace and Company. This leased area is included in this cleanup.
The eastern portion of the site contains the 172-acre Natural Area and adjacent 23- acre Buffer Zone. The Natural and Buffer Zone areas were cleaned up under a separate corrective action final decision and a long-term monitoring program.
Development of the East Chicago property was largely confined to its western portion. The southern section of the developed area was used for chemical manufacturing, while the northwestern section and northeastern edge of the site were used for waste management. Most of the previously active manufacturing areas have been decommissioned and the production facilities removed. The exception is the 30-acre southwest corner of the site where industrial facilities continue to operate under a lease to a separate owner. This leased area is included in this cleanup.
Results from the 2002 and 2004 RCRA facility investigations and previous investigations conducted by DuPont indicated that arsenicarsenicArsenic is a highly poisonous semi-metallic element. According to a 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences, arsenic can cause bladder, lung, and skin cancer and may cause kidney and liver cancer. The study also found that arsenic harms the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as heart and blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems. It also may cause birth defects and reproductive problems. These health impacts are caused when arsenic contaminates drinking water supplies. It enters water supplies either from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution., leadleadThe Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry defines lead as "a naturally occurring bluish-gray metal found in small amounts in the earth's crust.", zinc, and cadmiumcadmiumA heavy metal used primarily for metal plating and coating operations, in applications such as transportation equipment, machinery and baking enamels, photography, and television phosphors. It also is used in nickel-cadmium and solar batteries, and in pigments. It also is found in cigarette smoke and is an important hazardous air pollutant. are the primary contaminants of concern in the soil (from about 0 to 10 feet below ground). Arsenic is considered the primary pollutant in groundwater at the facility because of how it is distributed and its high concentrations.
As part of EPA’s Final Decision, the owners of the site will be required to
- record, implement and maintain EPA-approved institutional controls developed in consultation with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), that will prohibit the installation of on-site drinking water supply wells,
- require for permits for non-potable groundwater production wells,
- ensure protection of workers and ensure that the facility’s land use remains consistent with the remedial endpoints and risk assessments.
These restrictions will be embodied in a recorded environmental restrictive covenant and deed restriction that runs with the land and will be provided to IDEM’s Institutional Controls Registry and Virtual File Cabinet.
On June 29, 2018, Chemours informed EPA that it had conveyed title to the former DuPont facility and the W.R. Grace and Company lease, to East Chicago Gateway Partners, LLC a property redevelopment firm. EPA will oversee all required cleanup activities as detailed in the November 16, 2018 CMI Order and CMI Work Plan while supporting redevelopment opportunities at this former industrial facility.
For the most current information on East Chicago public oureach, please see East Chicago Gateway Partners East Chicago Public Outreach Report (PDF).
RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of EPA Region 5.