News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 21, 2013

Tank of coal tar, possibly from Civil War era, cleaned up at ISU

Remnants of gas plant found during excavation

TERRE HAUTE — A historic discovery during excavation for a new Indiana State University residence hall also required an environmental cleanup over Christmas break.

In mid-November, workers found a cylindrical, brick storage tank that held coal tar. The holding tank was part of a former manufactured gas plant that dated back to around the Civil War era, according to Pat Martin, city planner.  

ISU contacted the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and conducted a cleanup over winter break.

“IDEM oversaw removal of material, which we are told was not hazardous,” said Dave Taylor, ISU spokesman. Remediation involved removing coal tar and dirt and having it trucked to a landfill, Taylor said.

“They did everything like they were supposed to do,” said Barry Sneed, IDEM spokesman. “The removal was pretty quick. Remediation doesn’t usually happen that fast. But they wanted to keep exposure down so they paid overtime and got it done in a two-week period, which is really good.”

The combination of coal tar and soil that was removed weighed 1,129 tons. “It would have been hard to separate them,” Sneed said. “Normally, coal tar is classified as hazardous waste because of the benzene, but in this case the levels were low enough for it not to be classified as hazardous.”

On Monday, IDEM received soil samples from the area that had been remediated. While those samples have not been reviewed yet, “There’s no reason to believe that there’s an issue,” Sneed said.

The coal tar was found underground in an old, brick cylindrical tank that was about 40 feet in diameter, said Bryan Duncan, ISU’s director of capital planning and improvements.

The discovery delayed construction on a small portion of the work site.

Sneed said ISU removed all the coal tar that was at the site. As a precaution, ISU is going to install a vapor mitigation system, designed to keep potentially harmful vapors  from seeping into a building.

“It’s much like a system you’d put in a home for radon,” Sneed said. “It just pulls the vapor out of the building.”

Martin was contacted because he is trying to document every contaminated site in the city. Also, the city is involved with the Indiana brownfield program.

Martin was at the site each day of remediation. “It’s the oldest known manufacturing site in the city that we’ve excavated, to my knowledge,” Martin said.

The brick holding tank “was a beautiful piece of industrial work,” he said.

The contamination “was totally removed,” Martin said. “It is one less brownfield in the city of Terre Haute.”

The environmental consultant for the job was SESCO.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.


 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
NDN Video
Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity