News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

May 5, 2014

Contamination delays U.S. 40 project

Former Brazil fabric service site at issue; drinking water not compromised, official says

BRAZIL — An eight-week delay is expected on a project to improve U.S. 40 through Brazil, as construction workers will undergo training to remove contaminated water and soil at a former dry cleaning business.

Workers from the Indiana Department of Transportation and project workers for Gradex Inc. will be trained this month in hazardous waste operations and emergency response, said Debbie Calder, INDOT spokeswoman. More than 30 people will be trained, she said.

Road construction work, which had been slated to start in mid-April, is now scheduled to begin June 2, Calder said.

Gradex was performing an early site check of buildings and was made aware that soil could be contaminated in the work site, she said.

INDOT was notified in March that perchloroethylene (PCE), also known as tetrachloroethylene, was in ground water along the project’s right-of-way, said Barry Sneed, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

There was a site cleanup study under way “before INDOT starting doing work, and as [Gradex] started work and tested soil, they found contamination on the other side of the highway,” Sneed said.

The PCE plume runs across the highway and a good distance parallel to the highway, Sneed said, in an area served by city water. There are no water wells in the area, which removes concern of drinking contamination, Sneed said.

The impacted site is the former Adamson Fabric Care Service at 608 W. National Ave. in Brazil. IDEM has been working with the company, its insurance provider and an environmental contractor to address the issue, Sneed said.

Adamson Fabric hired Patriot Engineering and Environmental Inc. for a review of the site.

In a March 28 letter to Patriot from Bruce Kizer, branch chief of compliance and response for IDEM’s Office of Land quality, the state agency said soil, meeting certain standards, would not be subject to hazardous waste management standards if disposed of in a permitted municipal waste landfill.

Groundwater meeting industrial soil direct default levels may be solidified and disposed of in a permitted municipal waste landfill, the letter stated. Sampling and analysis must be done on all groundwater and soil to confirm applicable default levels are met, according to IDEM.

Water or soil not meeting default levels must be treated as a hazardous waste, according to IDEM.

Material sent to a hazardous waste landfill would cost more than if sent to a standard landfill, Sneed said.

Gradex Inc. is working with environmental consultant Cardno ATC to train workers on removal and a contamination management plan, Calder said. Workers will undergo a 24-hour class and a 40-hour class as part of the training, she said.

Gradex Inc. has a $19.7 million contract to replace pavement on U.S. 40 from Indiana 340 to the Wal-Mart in Brazil and on Indiana 340 from Brazil’s waterworks to U.S. 40. It includes new storm drainage, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project had been scheduled to be completed by Nov. 15, 2015.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or

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