Amphenol/Franklin Power Products in Franklin, Ind.
- Latest News
- Project Summaries
- Vapor Intrusion Updates
- Air Sampling Updates
- Amphenol/Franklin Power Products Statement of Basis (PDF) (75pp, 4.85MB)
- Statement of Basis Fact Sheet (PDF) (4pp, 329KB)
- Public Comments
- Statement of Basis Presentation *
*Comments left on YouTube will not be considered a part of public record.
- November 18 - December 6, 2019 Sewer Excavation Progress Summary
- November 4 - November 16, 2019 Sewer Excavation Progress Summary
- October 21 - November 2, 2019 Sewer Excavation Progress Summary
- October 7 - 19, 2019 Sewer Excavation Progress Summary
- September 23 - October 5, 2019 Sewer Excavation Progress Summary
- September 8 – 21, 2019 Sewer Excavation Progress Summary
- August 26 – September 7, 2019 Sewer Excavation Progress Summary
EPA received the Mundell and Associates plume model study on June 1, 2021 and is currently reviewing the report. At first glance, the Agency has significant questions about the report and its conclusions. For instance, the study did not use groundwater sampling data to support the hypothetical plume location, data which are generally required to validate a model. EPA has worked extensively with the Amphenol Corp. to investigate the extent of contamination at the site, including collecting groundwater data in the residential area and along Hurricane Creek. This extensive sampling found no evidence that contamination is entering the creek or migrating beyond the creek. A map of the plume based on groundwater samples taken at multiple locations has been available since 2019. EPA is reviewing updated plume figures based on additional data collection by Amphenol since, and will be making those public when the analysis is complete.
As is our mission, EPA will take any steps it determines are necessary to understand the extent of the contaminated groundwater plume and will ensure that remedial action is taken to protect public health and the environment. EPA has worked with the Amphenol Corp. to complete interim cleanup activities including installing mitigation measures in homes, completing a sewer and soil remedy, and operating an on-site groundwater pump-and-treat system. This summer, the public will have an opportunity to review and provide comments to EPA on Amphenol’s proposed final remedy for soil and groundwater. EPA is committed to transparency and sharing information about the investigation and cleanup with the public. EPA has worked with a broad group of stakeholders, including Franklin residents, IIWYC, the Mayor of Franklin, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, health agencies, elected officials and others during the site evaluation, and has held monthly facilitated stakeholder meetings to share updates and discuss concerns.
Municipal Storm Sewer Repair
Throughout May and June, the Amphenol Corp repaired a 610-foot segment of municipal storm sewer that crosses the site property. Amphenol hired a contractor to repair all the joints and to re-line a portion of the pipe after a 2020 video inspection of the pipe interior revealed that some of the joints were separated, potentially allowing water to move between the inside and the outside of the pipe. Due to the remedies already in place at the site, it is unlikely that any contamination has entered or left the pipe. Although some joints were separated, the on-site groundwater pump-and-treatment system is designed to depress the water table to below the pipeline, which prevents the storm sewer from intercepting contaminated groundwater. The pump-and-treat system also draws and contains contaminated groundwater within site boundaries.
During the repair work, water flow within the site’s storm sewer system was controlled by directing the water inside the pipe to a temporary, internal PVC bypass pipe. This temporary pipe allowed the work area to remain dry, except during exceptionally heavy rainfall when the flow through the system would resume. The inside of the storm sewer segment being repaired was thoroughly cleaned prior to the start of the project. The sewer receives storm water from approximately two hundred acres of upstream residential, agricultural, and industrial areas. The sewer discharges to a small stream connected to Hurricane Creek southeast of the site.
This project was needed to prepare the on-site area for the final remedy. Currently, the on-site groundwater pump-and-treat system depresses the water table to below the storm sewer pipe and is designed to hydraulically contain contaminated groundwater within site boundaries. However, Amphenol’s proposed final remedy includes eliminating the pump-and-treat system, which would raise the groundwater level. These repairs were needed to ensure that the storm water system does not intercept contaminated groundwater while the final on-site remedy is underway. Before the groundwater treatment system is turned off, contaminated groundwater would be prevented from leaving site boundaries by the installation of a permeable reactive barrier that was tested during the groundwater remedial pilot test in 2019.
Franklin Power Products, Inc. and Amphenol Corp. conducted an environmental investigation and cleanup at their former Franklin, Ind. industrial facility under two Administrative Consent Orders issued by EPA’s RCRA Corrective Action program in 1990 and 1998.
EPA determined that a former owner and operator, Bendix Corp., released volatile organic compounds and other chemicals into the environment, including into on-site sewers which transported the contamination outside the property boundaries to the neighborhood south of the facility, prior to 1983.
The EPA’s orders required Franklin Power Products and Amphenol to investigate the releases of VOCs, including known carcinogens, to determine what was released and where it may have travelled, and to determine the potential health risks and environmental effects of the contamination. A sewer line found to be contaminated was replaced and contaminated soil was removed from a source area on-site. EPA also required the companies to construct and operate clean-up measures, including a groundwater pump-and-treat system, which has been in operation since 1995. EPA continues to oversee performance of this cleanup.
Webb Well Field, an Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) State Cleanup Program site, is located about ¾-mile north of the Amphenol site. Both sites are in Johnson County. Two of three supply wells in the former municipal water well field were found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds; these were taken off-line by 2007. The third supply well was decommissioned in 2013. In 2007, Amphenol investigated possible migration of VOC-contaminated groundwater from its site to the Webb Well Field. Amphenol provided a groundwater particle tracking study to EPA to demonstrate that the VOC contamination found in the two impacted supply wells did not come from its facility. EPA determined that the evidence supported their position. For information, see IDEM web page.
In July, 2018 Edison Wetlands Association and the “If It Was Your Child” organization raised concerns to EPA and IDEM about volatile organic compounds seeping into homes near the Amphenol/Franklin Power Products and Webb Well Field sites in Franklin. EPA will require that Amphenol Corp. investigate groundwater conditions and complete a comprehensive investigation of “vapor Intrusion” in the residential area near the site. EPA will oversee the investigation. EPA is coordinating closely with the State of Indiana and federal agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and will follow up with the community as more information becomes available.
Edison Wetlands Association also raised concerns about the potential for intrusion of radon gas at homes in Franklin. Radon is naturally occurring. Exposure to radon can result in adverse health effects. Residents can hire an Indiana-licensed professional to test their homes for radon and install a mitigation system if needed. For more information:
- EPA's Radon website
- Indiana Radon Hotline, 1-800-272-9723
- Indiana State Department of Health General Information on Radon
- Indiana Department of Environmental Management - Franklin, IN
EPA joined Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Department of Public Health and the federal agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at an Aug. 3 2018 public meeting in Franklin, Ind.
Interim Measures and Other Cleanup
Cleanups have been completed and continue to be performed at the Amphenol site, including Interim Measures, or actions, completed by the responsible party in advance of EPA’s Final Remedy selection. Following is a summary of the cleanup performed so far:
- 1997—EPA selected an Interim Final Remedy to continue the operation and enhancement of the on-site groundwater recovery system installed in 1995.
- 2018 to 2020—EPA required Amphenol Corp. to sample indoor air of homes around the site for vapor intrusion, completing any necessary mitigation measures to eliminate exposures.
- 2019 to 2020—EPA required Amphenol Corp. to replace or line impacted, damaged sanitary sewer pipes and residential lateral or connection pipes, and remove source materials, which included VOC-impacted soil and groundwater) surrounding the sanitary sewer main. Replaced/lined sewer pipe and removal of the source materials minimized the potential for infiltration of contaminated groundwater and vapors into the sanitary sewer system. Nearly 2,560 linear feet of sewer main line were replaced or lined, 1,230 linear feet of home lateral connections were replaced or repaired, 6,400 tons of soil was excavated, and 342,330 gallons of groundwater were pumped out, treated, and discharged to the sewer main during the interim remedy construction.
Additional cleanup completed:
- 2006 to 2011—Amphenol Corp. completed an enhanced pilot study of soil bioremediation beneath the site’s building then treated soils using this method as well as in-situ chemical oxidation, or ISCO.
- 2010 to 2012—In response to vapor intrusion assessments, Amphenol Corp. treated contaminated soil beneath and immediately adjacent to the former plating room, a principal source location, using ISCO, which destroyed VOCs. Amphenol Corp. then installed a vapor barrier beneath a new concrete floor and a SSDS.
- 2018 to 2020—Amphenol Corp. collected indoor air samples from within the facility and confirmed that all VOC concentrations within it were below screening levels.
- 2019—Amphenol Corp. removed the old sanitary sewer line and the 341 tons of contaminated soils surrounding it for off-site disposal.
- 2020—Amphenol Corp. collected soil vapor samples from beneath the former plating room floor that confirmed all VOC concentrations were below screening levels.
- 2021—Amphenol Corp. repaired a 600-foot portion of a municipal sewer line that crosses the site to prepare for the final remedy.
Residential Indoor Air Sampling Summary
Environmental conditions surrounding the Amphenol site were due to the historical release of VOCs from the former plating room at the former facility to the sanitary sewer system, which created vapor migration pathways via the sanitary sewer line and groundwater migration in the neighborhood to the south (the Amphenol Study Area). The groundwater pathway created potential exposure concern for certain homes in there specifically homes with basements where foundation floors are closer to the groundwater table than slab-on-grade or crawlspace foundations. Additionally, impacted sewer lines created potential exposure for homes with plumbing systems that were not properly sealed.
Homes targeted for indoor air sampling in the Amphenol Study Area were labeled Priority Residences, or PRs, if they were:
1) Above the contaminated groundwater plume
2) Adjacent to sampled homes where the soil gas exceeded the screening level
3) Adjacent to the sanitary sewer line with elevated vapor measurements
Based on the above considerations, 42 homes were identified for indoor air testing. Thirty-seven homes were sampled; five homeowners declined access. See a summary of results in the table below:
Residential Indoor Air Sampling Summary
|PR access requested||42|
|PR access granted and sampled||37|
|Sub-slab or exterior soil gas exceedances||7|
|Sewer gas exceedances||19|
|Homes with vapor mitigation systems installed||7|
|Plumbing vapor leaks tests conducted||11|
|Plumbing vapor leaks detected/repaired||9|
|Indoor air exceedances||5|
|Indoor air exceedance due to sewer gas||2|
|Indoor air exceedance due to soil gas||1|
|Indoor air exceedance due to combination of soil and sewer gas||2|
- Sub-slab samples were only collected from PRs with a concrete basement or main floor slab, which was 27 properties. Select PRs had soil gas samples collected in the yard adjacent to the foundation, as a surrogate to a sub-slab location.
- In 14 property structures without slab-on-grade or basement foundations, indoor air samples were collected from within the home’s crawl space.
- Sewer gas results were conservatively compared to Residential Indoor Air Vapor Exposure Screening Level within IDEM’s Remediation Closure Guide, as sewer gas does not have an identified screening level.
- Only 21 PRs had sewer cleanouts that were accessible to collect sewer gas samples.
Indoor air sampling proceeded under an EPA-approved work plan following EPA’s standard approach of a 24-hour Summa canister test. These canisters were placed at several locations within each home dependent on its configuration. For example: if a home had a basement, a vapor point was drilled into the floor to sample sub-slab soil gas. If the home was connected to impacted sanitary sewers, sampling points included bathrooms. As data about site conditions was collected, the list of PRs expanded. EPA worked with Amphenol to identify additional priority residences. For more information, see EPA’s Vapor Intrusion Technical Guide.
Between 2018 and 2020, Amphenol Corp. performed indoor air sampling in 37 of the targeted 42 homes (where access was granted). To capture changing conditions and the potential impact on vapor intrusion, properties were sampled in both summer and winter. Amphenol Corp. also completed vapor leak pressure tests of the interior plumbing at homes where sewer main and lateral pipe, or connections to the sewer main, vapors were elevated above indoor air screening levels.
The installation of a “sub-slab depressurization system,” or SSDS, to mitigate any VOC vapors was recommended to homeowners if soil gas levels exceeded soil vapor screening levels, or if indoor air screening levels were exceeded due to soil vapor intrusion. Amphenol Corp. installed these systems in all seven homes that met the criteria. One of the seven homes exceeded indoor air screening levels slightly and the other six properties had elevated soil gas levels but not indoor air issues. As a conservative measure, systems were also installed in these homes. Plumbing system repairs were completed in nine of 11 homes that were tested with vapor leak pressure tests. See the Vapor Intrusion Update section of this webpage to review information on Sewer Vapor Migration Pathways and examples of plumbing repairs.
Homeowners were kept informed and engaged throughout air sampling events. Each property was first contacted by Amphenol’s consultant via letter to explain vapor intrusion concerns and request access. Once appointments were made, the sampling was a three-day process: sampling equipment was set up on the first day, a 24-hour Summa canister was installed on the second day, and on the third day the canister was removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Preliminary analytical results were generally provided to Amphenol Corp. by the laboratory within three days, which were then validated by a third-party service 10 days after receipt of the quality assurance and quality control data package. Homeowners received their results by letter and were also given the option to meet in person if they desired. If a property met the criteria for recommending a SSDS, a consultant from Amphenol Corp. would set up a meeting to discuss their results and recommended next steps.
Amphenol Corp. also tested the integrity of residential plumbing systems using pressure tests. Of the 11 homes tested, Amphenol Corp. made plumbing repairs in nine homes. Amphenol Corp. supplied testing results to homeowners via letter as well as in person and, if necessary, made appointments with homeowners for repairs and re-testing to ensure that the systems were sealed.
Amphenol Corp. discussed all results with EPA, who reviewed them with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or ATSDR. EPA and Amphenol Corp. discussed, and continue to discuss, any follow-up recommendations.
Nov. 27, 2018
Vapor intrusion (VI) occurs when vapor-forming chemicals from an underground source move into a building. A VI investigation follows a potential path of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) from the source of the chemical (for example, a spill or release to the ground) to potential exposure indoors. VOCs often migrate in groundwater and can also travel along a pathway such as a sewer or utility trench.
Under EPA oversight, Amphenol Corp. is completing a vapor intrusion (VI) investigation in the neighborhood south of the former Amphenol facility. See the aerial view of the off-site vapor intrusion study area.
The VI investigation is based on historical data that show migration of VOCs from the former Franklin Power Products/Amphenol Corporation Site into the residential area through groundwater and sewer lines. The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether remaining contamination reaches the indoor air of homes and poses risk to occupants.
The VI investigation at Amphenol includes sampling VOC sewer gas, sewer backfill (bedding) gas, groundwater, and indoor air of homes. To speed up the investigation, soil gas was sampled along streets within the city of Franklin rights of way (ROWs). Where soil gas was elevated above vapor intrusion screening levels in the ROW, the nearby homes were put on the list for indoor air sampling (priority homes list). 30 sewer manholes were sampled in the study area to determine if VOC contamination was present at elevated levels. VOCs were elevated along Forsythe Street and parts of Hamilton Ave. Where sewer gas was elevated above safe indoor air levels, the nearby homes were added to the priority homes list. Where groundwater was elevated above vapor intrusion screening levels, nearby homes were added to the priority homes list.
Per the investigation steps, where groundwater, soil gas, and sewer line samples exceed applicable screening levels, the investigation proceeds to sampling beneath and/or within nearby homes. As of November 27, 2018, 37 homes are on the “priority homes” list for indoor air sampling. Results of vapor intrusion indoor air sampling are private and shared with the residents.
Based on evaluation of the data from this investigation, the study area may be expanded.
The week of September 16, 2018, two or more additional priority homes will be sampled for sub-slab soil gas, sewer gas, indoor air, and ambient air.
On September 13, 2018, Amphenol began sewer gas sampling in the study area following the EPA approval of its Sewer Gas Vapor Intrusion Investigation Work Plan, Franklin Power Products, Inc./Amphenol Corporation, dated September 10, 2018.
The week of September 9, 2018, Amphenol began preparing for the sewer gas sampling in coordination with EPA.
The week of September 9, 2018, residents in the Study Area received “door hangers” alerting them to sampling activity in the neighborhood.
On September 4, 2018, Amphenol began sampling soil gas, ambient air, and indoor air at the first of approximately nine priority homes near the facility. Home sampling is contingent upon access agreements with homeowners and residents.
On August 30, 2018, EPA asked Amphenol Corp. to submit a work plan describing the VI investigation approach. With EPA concurrence, Amphenol has been submitting separate work plans for the different sampling components, to expedite the investigation.
Sewer Vapor Migration Pathway
Elevated VOC vapors have been found in manholes in the sanitary sewer lines along streets in the Amphenol Study Area. Sewer vapors can travel from the sewer lines into homes via the pipes that connect a home’s sewer system to the main sewer line. The connection pipes are called “sewer laterals.” All homes near sewer lines contaminated with VOC vapors were added to the list of homes needing indoor air sampling for contaminants, including VOC vapor in the sewer lateral.
Where vapors are elevated in the sewer laterals, Amphenol performs pressure tests in the associated homes to determine whether the plumbing system is sealed. Amphenol looks for leaks by pumping a vapor mist with a citrus aroma into the pipe. If mist or citrus aroma odor is observed, then Amphenol uses a plumbing contractor to repair the fixture. Here are examples of some of the issues found and repairs made to correct vapor leaks in the plumbing system:
Old water softener lines that were not sealed when disconnected and replaced were capped.
- Sewer line exhaust that vented inside an attic was rerouted to vent outside the home.
- Vapor leaks observed around toilet flanges were replaced and the toilets reset.
- A portion of the main sewer line under a home was an entry point for a bathtub drain. The sewer lateral was cracked and no longer vapor-tight. The cracked pipe was removed and replaced with a new PVC fitting.
- Leaking sanitary lines were sealed at the slab entry point and other joints.
- Vapor leaks observed in unused toilets/shower drains with dry P-traps were sealed with an expandable plug.
- Plumbing vents beneath sinks and at other interior locations were sealed.
- A sewer lateral was relocated, and an exterior sewer cleanout installed to adequately pressurize the plumbing system.
- Sump pits were sealed with an appropriate sump lid.
- One-way specialized plugs in floor drains were installed to allow water to drain and prevent vapors from entering.
- Unfinished walls were sealed where an interior room was in direct communication with a crawlspace.
On August 3, 2018 Amphenol installed a filter (vapor carbon system) on the emissions pipe to virtually eliminate its VOC emissions.
Under supervision by EPA and IDEM, Amphenol collected 8-hour ambient (outdoor) air samples from six locations around the boundary of its site on July 26, 2018. A laboratory analyzed the samples and an independent data validation company has checked the results. These samples were analyzed for the nine volatile organic compound (VOC) chemicals associated with the historic releases from the former Amphenol site. Results at the fence line indicated that outdoor air concentrations of VOCs are below EPA’s health-based screening levels for residential exposure.
The emissions pipe at the groundwater recovery air stripping system was also sampled. Emissions were measured at a rate of approximately 8 pounds total VOCs per year. To put this in perspective, IDEM would issue an air permit for this system only if the air emissions reached at least 2,000 pounds per year.
- Second Supplemental Corrective Measures Study (March 22, 2022)
- Comment Letter on the Mundell Geophysical Survey & Groundwater Plume Report
- Amphenol Stakeholder Group Meeting Summaries
- Risk Communication and Site Contamination & Cleanup FAQ
- Amphenol Site Storm Sewer Repair July 2021 (pdf) (July 26, 2021)
- On-Site Investigations
- Amphenol Public Meeting December 3, 2019
- Amphenol Ongoing Sewer Replacement Work FAQ (pdf) (December 2, 2019)
- Amphenol Stakeholder Information Plan
- Amphenol Upcoming Sewer Replacement Work Frequently Asked Questions (pdf) (August 2019)
- Amphenol Public Meeting June 5, 2019
- November 2018 Public Meeting Announcement, Presentation and Posters
- Groundwater Documents and Maps
- Interim Remedial Measure
- Sewer Gas Documents and Maps
- Soil Gas Documents and Maps
- Fact Sheet: Neighborhood Environmental Sampling South of Amphenol - October 2018
- Fact Sheet: Amphenol Investigation Shows Safe Outdoor Air Levels - August 2018
- Fact Sheet: EPA Requires New Investigations at Former Amphenol Site - August 2018
- 2018 On-Site Ambient Air Sampling at Amphenol
- 2018 Vapor Intrusion Investigation
Agency Distribution Letters 1997 Statement of Basis (pdf)
(March 1997 )
1997 public document explaining proposed remediation for the Franklin Power Products/Amphenol Corp Site.
Amphenol 1997 Statement of Basis Transmittal Letter (pdf)
(April 2, 1997 )
Statement of Basis transmittal letter to agencies for1997 Statement of Basis document explaining proposed remediation for the Franklin Power Products/Amphenol Corp Site.
Mailing List 1997 Statement of Basis Document Public Announcement Letter (pdf)
(April 4, 1997 )
Mailing list for 1997 Statement of Basis public announcement Letter describing public comment opportunity for the proposed remediation of the Franklin Power Products/Amphenol Corp Site.
- RCRA 3008(h) Consent Order for Franklin Power Products, Inc and Amphenol Corporation IND 044587 848 (pdf) (November 24, 1998)
- Attachment A 1998 Administrative Order on Consent Franklin Power Products, Inc and Amphenol Corporation (pdf) (November 24, 1998)
- Attachment B 1998 Administrative Order on Consent Franklin Power Products, Inc and Amphenol Corporation (pdf) (November 24, 1998)
- Draft Indoor Air Risk Evaluation for the Residences along Forsythe Street (pdf) (October 29, 1996 )
- A Report of RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) Activities at the Former Amphenol Site, Franklin, Indiana Volume 1 Report Text, Figures, Tables and Sheets (pdf) (June 13, 1994)
- A Report of RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) Activities at the Former Amphenol Site, Franklin, Indiana Volume 2 Appendices A through J (pdf) (June 13, 1994)
- Superseded FPP/Amphenol 3008(h) Order 199 (pdf) (November 27, 1990)
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