City should step up and address clean-up issues
The Tribune-Star story of Jan. 25, 2013, “Truck spills tons of dirt along Parke County road”, reported that a dump truck was leaking soil onto a road south of Rockville. Authorities came to the scene and determined that the leaked soil was contaminated and had come from a clean-up near Catlin Road and County Road 400 South.
According to the Tribune-Star report, approximately five tons of this contaminated soil had been dumped along a two-mile stretch of Catlin Road. A hazardous materials crew spent nearly three hours cleaning up this spill and the road was closed for approximately three hours. The load was from previously removed storage tanks located at a Parke County Marathon pipeline station.
In the coming months, HIS Constructors, Inc., Indianapolis, will begin remediation operations at the former Terre Haute Coke and Carbon site at 13th and Hulman streets. They will receive $2.7 million to remove approximately 80,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil.
According to a Dec. 12, 2012, Tribune-Star article, more than 7,000 round trips by dump trucks will be needed to complete this task by November, 2013. The 13th and Hulman streets remediation is more complex than the aforementioned Parke County Marathon pipeline station clean-up project.
To date, since the Tribune-Star published several letters, wrote an extensive background piece on the former Coke and Carbon facility and a subsequent editorial, those officials responsible for overseeing the 13th and Hulman streets project have offered neither any details of the logistics of the clean-up nor how the performance of HIS Constructors will be monitored. There are both federal and state environmental procedures and regulations governing a hazardous material clean up.
In addition, which routes will the dump trucks use to transport the contaminated soil to the landfill? It is difficult to imagine 7,000 dump truck trips of contaminated soil through residential areas of Terre Haute without any unexpected mishaps. A single dump truck spill in Parke County created a three-hour clean-up and a three-hour road closing.
Pat Martin, City Engineering Department chief planner, should consider holding a town hall meeting to provided the public with a detailed plan of the remediation of the contaminated site. The plan should include site security, movement of the contaminated soil to the landfill and what measures will be taken to ensure the safety of the workers and the surrounding neighborhoods. The local media should be invited to cover the event.
Likewise, City Council members, especially Amy Auler (District 1) and John Mullican (District 6) should attend such a meeting. Districts 1 and 6 border the 13th and Hulman streets site. To date, there have been no statements from the City Council regarding this contamination clean-up project.
A Jan. 17, 2013, Tribune-Star article, “City, airport working for sewer extension to aid development,” highlighted “good news” for the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission. According to Mr. Martin, the former Coke and Carbon site clean-up is now estimated to be $5.4 million, not $7 million.
However, this does not include the landfill costs, to include a concrete cap over the contaminated soil at the landfill. I am pleased to learn that we may save $1.6 million.
— Gary S. Izo