Under a consent decree with the State of Indiana and U.S. EPA, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) will clean up soil contamination at residences of the Town of Pines Groundwater Plume Superfund site in Porter County. NIPSCO will spend an estimated $11.8 million to resolve federal and state Superfund liability. The complaint alleges that the company is liable for the cleanup of coal ash from its power generation facility that it distributed as landscaping fill in the town and nearby. The contaminated soils contain hazardous substances including arsenic, thallium and lead.
Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Brian Rockensuess notes that “by entering into this settlement with EPA and the state, NIPSCO will complete the process of cleaning up and restoring residential yards impacted by the disposal of coal ash in the Town of Pines and ensure the safety of the drinking water supply by monitoring both drinking water and groundwater wells for potential contamination caused by the disposal.”
The consent decree requires NIPSCO to identify residential soil contamination above cleanup levels, excavate the contaminated soils, and transport excavated contaminated soil to a licensed waste disposal facility. The company also must restore excavated properties, implement restrictions at the excavated properties where necessary, and monitor wells, surface water, and sediments to ensure that the contamination has not migrated. The company will also reimburse EPA a large percentage of its past costs and pay all future costs incurred by EPA and Indiana in overseeing the cleanup.
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