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EPA in Indiana

Hazardous Waste Cleanup: DuPont Facility - East Chicago, Indiana

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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.  

    Cleanup Status

    On July 19, 2018, EPA issued the Final Decision and Response to Comments document which identified the final remedy selected for the Western/Industrial Portion of the former DuPont East Chicago facility.  After careful review and consideration of all the public comments received throughout the Statement of Basis public comment period and based on the comparative analysis of alternatives presented in the Statement of Basis, EPA selected the following remedy components for the former DuPont East Chicago facility

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    Site Description

    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.  

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    Results from the 2002 and 2004 RCRA facility investigations and previous investigations conducted by DuPont indicated that arsenicHelparsenicArsenic 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., leadHelpleadThe 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 cadmiumHelpcadmiumA 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.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    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.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    DuPont is actively looking for redevelopment and reuse opportunities for the western portion of the facility. 

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    Site Responsiblity at this Facility

    RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of EPA Region 5.

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