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News Releases from Region 05

Former Kokomo Superfund site now home to new solar farm

04/12/2017
Contact Information: 
EPA: Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)
312-886-7159
IDEM: Ryan Clem (rclem@idem.in.gov)
317-233-4927

CHICAGO (April 12, 2017) – Senior leaders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management today joined Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and Inovateus Solar for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a tour of the new solar farm on the former Continental Steel Superfund site in Kokomo, Ind. The 29-acre solar farm consists of 21,000 solar panels used to convert sunlight into electricity to power 1,000 local homes.

“Thanks to an effective and collaborative federal, state and local partnership, we’ve been able to transform this vacant, blighted land into a powerhouse providing energy to Kokomo residents,” said EPA acting superfund director Margaret Guerriero. “Soccer fields and solar energy are turning this former superfund site green.”

In 2011, EPA completed a $66 million Superfund cleanup of contaminated soil and sediments at the former Continental Steel facility, where scrap metal was used to manufacture nails, wire and fencing. Groundwater cleanup is ongoing.

After completing the cleanup, EPA turned the property over to the city and provided a $100,000 superfund redevelopment grant to the city to engage the community in devising a plan to reuse the site. The city selected Inovateus Solar to develop the farm and manage construction of the solar system. Another area of the site is being redeveloped as the 60-acre Wildcat Creek Soccer Complex which will include 30 youth and full-size soccer fields, a walking trail, concessions, restrooms, storage and parking.

“We are pleased to see this significant project come to fruition,” said Bruno Pigott, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. “Thanks to the cooperative relationships with our local and federal partners, this site will benefit residents for generations to come.”

"We are happy to partner with Inovateus to continue Kokomo’s trend of transforming underutilized sites into assets,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “This project has been years in the making, and started when the area underwent a cleanup effort. The transformation from contaminated Superfund site to solar farm has been inspiring and a win for all involved.”

To learn more about this site, visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/continental-steel