Indiana cleanup gets $12M

Keith Loria Dec. 30, 2010, 3:00am


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced on Thursday that he has reached a $12 million consent agreement with 13 companies to fund the final stage of remediation at an industrial site.

Zoeller was joined by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and federal officials in coming to the agreement, which will clean contaminated soil and groundwater at the former Cam-Or industrial property on State Road 2 in Westville, Ind.

"Our colleagues at IDEM and my office have worked very hard with EPA to structure a good solution," Zoeller said.

The State filed environmental claims against the companies over the site, which was named a Superfund site in 1987 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"The pollution at this industrial site occurred over several decades and the cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater is expected to take years, so it was a complicated process to hammer out a legal agreement to fully fund the remediation of the site," Zoeller said.

"This agreement helps resolve a lingering environmental impediment to future economic development and hopefully jobs for the LaPorte and Porter county areas."

Waste oil from service stations, industrial facilities, railroad yards and pipelines was reprocessed at the site for use in automotive and industrial lubricating oil blends.

The site was originally owned by Westville Oil and operated as a refinery beginning in 1934, where it reprocessed waste oil. From 1950-1978, most waste oil discarded at the site was stored in lagoons that lacked linings, so contaminants leached into the soil and groundwater, Zoeller says.

Cam-Or Inc. purchased the company in 1976, operating the refinery until 1987, until it was closed in response to EPA and IDEM requirements. Cleanup began in 1987.

The EPA brought legal action in 1987 and issued an administrative order two years later against several companies that were Cam-Or customers and generated the waste oil, requiring them to undertake cleanup actions.

In 2002, an EPA administrative order with the group of customer companies began a feasibility study to define the extent of contamination and develop alternatives for cleanup.

The 13 companies involved in the settlement all generated waste oil that was reprocessed at the Cam-Or site. The companies, called "work settling defendants," include Alcoa Inc.; ANR Pipeline Company; Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc., on behalf of Oil Services Company; Consolidated Rail Corporation; CSX Transportation Inc.; Ford Motor Company; Imperial Oil Limited; Ingersoll-Rand Company, formerly known as Clark Equipment Company; Northern Indiana Public Service Company or NIPSCO; Rockwell Automation, formerly known as Allen Bradley Corp. and Rockwell International Corp.; C. Stoddard & Sons Inc.; Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company; and United States Steel Corporation, formerly USX Corp.

The companies agreed to establish and maintain a $12 million performance guarantee to complete an engineering design and conduct cleanup at the site. They are also required to pay $200,000 in settled costs and another $2.2 million for future oversight costs to the EPA.

Furthermore, the companies will pay the state of Indiana's oversight costs in full for the duration of the cleanup, which is expected to last 25 years or more.

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