NIPSCO to Clean Up Coal Ash Contamination at Pines Superfund Site
Northern Indiana Public Service Co. will be responsible for cleaning up soil contamination in individual residences at the City of Pines Groundwater Plume Superfund site in Porter County, Indiana, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today. of the environment.
The soil is contaminated with coal ash, the by-product of burning coal for coal for electricity. For decades, NIPSCO has dumped more than a million tons of coal ash in a landfill above the City of Pines Aquifer, and it has also donated coal ash to the City of Pines for that it be used in home landscaping and road construction, saying it wasn’t harmful to nearby residents.
The coal ash seeped into the water table, polluting the city’s well water. NIPSCO paid to have homes in the remedial survey area hooked up to Michigan City municipal water, but other homes remained supplied with well water.
It is estimated that it will cost $11.8 million to resolve the Superfund liability.
“This settlement requires NIPSCO to remove coal ash contaminated soil from the utility’s electrical generating facility and to monitor groundwater in and around the City of Pines, Indiana,” said Larry Starfield, Acting Deputy Administrator of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. in a press release. “These cleanups will help protect residents from exposure to arsenic and other hazardous substances.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said Hoosiers would benefit from NIPSCO’s commitment to reimbursing taxpayers for public dollars spent on discussions and the long-running cleanup process.
“They will also benefit from the company’s commitment to complete the cleanup of the town of Pines necessitated by the disposal of its coal ash in residential areas,” Rokita said. “We must always work to protect Hoosiers and uphold the rule of law.”
The consent decree will require NISPCO to excavate all residential areas that have soil contamination levels above EPA standard cleanup levels. NIPSCO will remove the contaminated soil and transport it to an approved waste disposal facility.
NISPCO will also be responsible for restoring properties to clean soil and monitoring residential drinking water wells, monitoring surface water and groundwater to ensure contamination has not migrated below. beyond the excavated area.
The EPA and the State of Indiana will oversee the cleanup, and NISPCO will pay any costs incurred.
This story will be updated.