Indianapolis awarded EPA funds to test contaminated sites

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INDIANAPOLIS – City officials have identified ten polluted sites in a designated redevelopment area where they plan to test soil and groundwater thanks to a grant from the EPA.

A Smart Growth Renewal District just north of downtown will be the beneficiary. With the help of neighbors, the city has narrowed down a list of roughly 200 contaminated sites to ten. Several of the sites are next to the Monon Trail and were chosen based on their possible impact on nearby properties.

“I know there are a couple of spots up the street where I’m like, ‘What’s going on down there?’” said Nathan LaGrange, a King Park area homeowner who said his neighborhood is improving every day. He said the polluted sites remain an obvious barrier to growth.

“Most of the sites we’re looking at are contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances like TCE or PCE, solvents commonly used in industrial processes,” said Steven Meyer, who oversees brownfield redevelopment for the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development.

The $400,000 EPA grant will pay for soil and groundwater testing that needs to be done before interested parties can apply for grants or other funding to clean the sites up.

“The Smart Growth Renewal District has its epicenter at 22nd Street and the Monon Trail, and there is a mile radius around it,” said Matt Keen, an official with the King Park Area Development Corporation who more clearly identified the area that’s caught the city’s attention. It includes the Martindale-Brightwood and King Park neighborhoods

“Years ago, the easiest way to get rid of something was to dump it out the back door, and if you didn’t see it anymore, you didn’t worry about it,” said Bruce Palin with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

“They can be opportunities for something that may better the whole community so we hope it tilts in that direction,” said LaGrange.

Testing is expected to take 30 days per site. City officials claim they can test two sites at once.

Ten additional priorities will be identified late this summer.

Hazardous Substance Sites

  • 1101 16th St. – Tinker Flats (Site #1)
  • 1902 Alvord St./ 1116 E. 19th St. – Illegal Dumping Site (Site #3)
  • 2104 Dr. AJ Brown Ave – Vacant Lot Site (Site #6)
  • 2069 Yandes St (2072 Columbia Ave) – Vacant Wooded Lot (Site #10)
  • 1150 E. 28th St. Dump Site (Site #11)

Petroleum Sites

  • 1102 16th St. – Gleaners Food Bank (Site #2)
  • 2002 Alvord St. – Unnamed Auto Repair Shop (Site #4) (ineligible)
  • 1601 Dr. AJ Brown Ave – Vacant Lot Site (Site #5)
  • 2451 Dr. AJ Brown Ave – Former Funeral Home (Site #7)
  • 3112 Dr. AJ Brown Ave – Hoosier Tool Facility (Site #8)
  • 1360 30th St – Hoosier Tool Property (Site #9)


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