Dec 27, 2007

Indiana City to Provide Water to Polluted Neighborhood

Geocel Corp. to run city water to homes near Elkhart, Ind., whose groundwater the company has acknowledged polluting

A company intends to run city water to more than a dozen homes in a neighborhood near Elkhart, Ind., whose groundwater it has acknowledged polluting, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Work in Meadow Farms is expected to begin next spring on the project, and is expected to cost about $1 million, said Mike Machlan, engineering manager for the city of Elkhart.
Meadow Farms residents have been advised not to drink or cook with their water and to bathe only in lukewarm water because heat can release contaminants since June, when Geocel Corp. said it was responsible for the pollution.
Geocel signed an agreement with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in November in which it agreed to clean up the contaminated area in exchange for the state's promise not to take legal action.
Geocel, which makes sealants and caulks, has until May to submit a plan to IDEM detailing how it intends to clean vinyl chloride, dichloroethene and dichloroethane from the land around its facility and the nearby neighborhood. It then has the option of asking for a 90-day extension, and IDEM has 60 days to review the plan before a 30-day public comment period, according to the newspaper.
Attorney Richard Paulen of Barnes & Thornburg, which is representing Geocel, said the company plans to begin the remediation with state approval before it files its work plan. Geocel would connect about 14 homes that have had filters installed due to high levels of contaminants to city water.
Some homes also had their air tested to determine if any chemicals were leeching through basement floors into the household air. John Hulewicz, environmental health supervisor at the Elkhart County Health Department, said the results of those tests were fairly good.