TOWN OF PINES GROUNDWATER PLUME
TOWN OF PINES, IN
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The Pines Groundwater Plume site is located about four miles west of Michigan City and about one mile south of Lake Michigan in Porter County, Indiana.
EPA tested residential drinking water wells in the town of Pines in May 2002, based on high levels of the metals boron and molybdenum found in drinking water wells by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The metals appeared to come from coal combustion by-products, or CCBs, composed primarily of fly ash that was disposed of in a nearby landfill called Yard 520. Other areas in the town were also identified as having CCB materials, including residential yards where fly ash was used as fill material and roads where bottom ash was used as bedding and surface material. CCBs are the result of burning coal to make electricity.
Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Brown, Inc., Ddalt Corp., and Bulk Transport are the companies determined to be responsible for the contamination.
What Is the Current Site Status?
Private properties with high levels of arsenic-contaminated soil have been cleaned up. First, residents asked EPA to have samples taken of the soil on their properties. Then, if the results indicated that a cleanup was warranted, EPA oversaw the excavation and removal of the contaminated soil. Property owners in the town of Pines wishing to have their soil tested for arsenic and other coal ash-related contaminants may still contact EPA Remedial Project Manager Erik Hardin. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The high levels of arsenic were discovered in 2015. The town hall property has been cleaned up and new equipment was added to the playground before it re-opened.
Cleanup of contaminated properties will continue this year, as needed, under an April 2016 legal agreement between EPA and NIPSCO.
Emergency Response and Removal
EPA expects that most, if not all, properties with soil contamination resulting from coal ash used as landscaping fill in the 1970s will be addressed by a second EPA action under an April 2016 legal agreement with NIPSCO. The company is required to do this work separately from the cleanup plan for the groundwater plume.