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EPA in Indiana

Williamson Polishing & Plating Site

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July 2017 Update

In May 2017 EPA completed the cleanup at the former Williamson Polishing & Plating facility, and its associated residential soil vapor and groundwater study.

During this cleanup EPA removed and disposed of abandoned hazardous waste inside the Williamson Polishing & Plating property. EPA also decontaminated plating equipment, vats, tanks, piping, and other parts used for plating.

At the end of April, EPA sampled groundwater and vapor in residential areas near the former Williamson Polishing and Plating facility  to determine if trichloroethene, known as TCE, and related chemicals found at the facility  had also affected those areas.

In groundwater, TCE was detected above the screening level. However, because groundwater in the area is not used for drinking or bathing, it does not pose a significant risk. TCE was also detected in soil gas, but all concentrations were below the screening level.

EPA also found acrolein in soil gas in samples taken in the residential area, but not in samples collected at Williamson Polishing and Plating. Acrolein can be formed when trees, tobacco, plants, gasoline, and oil are burned. EPA is not planning to take any additional action at the Williamson Polishing & Plating Site because a completed vapor intrusion pathway could not be established, acrolein could not be attributed to the site, and TCE did not exceed the screening level in soil gas.

Site Description

Williamson Polishing & Plating Co. Inc. was a plating shop located on 2080 Dr. Andrew J Brown Avenue in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood of Indianapolis. The business began operating in 1937 and continued until June 2016. The facility conducted job shop polishing and electroplating services by plating brass, cadmium, copper, chrome, nickel, silver, tin, zinc, bronze, and nickel finishes on various surfaces. The site is vacant but contains a 14,651-square-foot building with plating process equipment.

Site boundaries mapSite Background

EPA’s involvement at the site began after the Marion County Public Health Department received a complaint about abandoned chemicals left at the facility. MCPHD conducted an exterior inspection on October 5, 2016 and found violations, including improper storage of a hazardous material. On October 13, 2016, MCPHD conducted an inspection of the facility’s interior and found abandoned waste in drums, plating vats, tanks, and small containers. MCPHD temporarily secured the building.

On October 31 and November 1, 2016, EPA took emergency actions to secure the facility following break-ins. On November 29, 2016, EPA signed an action memorandum to conduct the removal action.  In December 2016 EPA began removing contaminants at the Williamson Polishing & Plating site. The area around the site encompasses a mixture of properties including industrial, commercial, residential, community centers, playgrounds, parks, and schools.


EPA Completes Cleanup & Nearby Residential Study Factsheet (2 pp, 411K, About PDF)
Upcoming EPA Sampling Flier (2 pp, 415K , About PDF)
Williamson Polishing & Plating Action Memorandum - Redacted Version (11/30/2016) (35 pp, 6.44MB , About PDF)
EPA begins cleanup at Williamson Polishing & Plating, Indianapolis, Ind.  - News Release (12/15/2016)
Administrative Record (11/29/2016) (3 pp,67 K, About PDF)