Addressing the contamination of Site 0153
IDEM said that despite the ground water contamination, the finished water is safe for consumption.
Drinking water in the area currently shows no trace of the chemicals that had been discovered in the ground water.
According to IDEM, Contamination Site 0153 was first reported in 2013.
The organization “has begun investigation into the sources of the contamination and … [will be] implementing a cleanup and monitoring plan.” When that testing was first performed, it was believed that the contaminants posed a major threat to the area’s drinking water.
According to a memo from IDEM to the EPA, it was then placed on the EPA’s National Priorities List.
The EPA classifies these “superfund sites” as sites that warrant further investigations after “known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants.” However, the memo reveals that the earlier test was “only a snapshot in time.” In April of 2016, further information from Citizens Water was provided to IDEM.
The cleanup will take several years, but the monitoring will last much longer.
At an Aug. 17 public meeting, lead project manager Ryan Groves announced that the investigation alone will take two to three years, while the cleanup process could last two to five years.
The cleanup process would not begin until after the conclusion of the investigation, meaning from start to finish, the project could last between four to eight years.
Site 0153’s contamination has brought together several groups, including Northwest Quality of Life, Flanner House, and the newly formed Indiana Environmental Justice Assembly (IEJA), supported by the Kheprw Institute, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit involved in diverse aspects of community development.