INDIANAPOLIS – The Environmental Protection Agency just completed an emergency cleanup of a contaminated piece of property on the north side of Indianapolis on North Keystone Avenue.
A Tuchman Cleaners that was leveled by the city had spilled dangerous chemicals that contaminated the soil and groundwater.
“I didn’t know why Tuchman Cleaners closed. I knew it was knocked down flat,” said Betty Thompson, a homeowner who lives nearby.
The owner of the dry cleaners had gone bankrupt and deserted the property. Reports paid for by the EPA reveal it has posed an “imminent and substantial threat to public health” because of a variety of chemicals.
“I just got the keys to the house, and I’m just learning about this information from you, so, it’s a little shocking,” said Cassie Browning, who was moving into a rental home on Thursday. The homeowner had just had equipment installed by the EPA last week to clean up the air inside the home at no cost.
“Where we find that they have concentrations of the chemicals above our health screening numbers, we install a vapor intrusion system,” said Shelly Lam, the on-site coordinator for the EPA.
Chemical vapors have been seeping into some homes and businesses through small cracks in their foundations. Half of the 30-plus properties that were inspected already revealed problems. Mitigation systems were subsequently installed.
While the EPA has been met with some resistance from homeowners who have not welcomed them into their homes, Lam is hopeful they will be able to help them soon.
“If it’s going to help you, yeah, come out here, and add a few more years to my life,” said Thompson.
Citizens Energy Group, which operates a water treatment facility nearby, has seen some contaminated water. A spokesperson tells Fox59 they have been able to treat the water, that will become city drinking water, and it meets safe drinking water standards.