News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 17, 2012

Coke and Carbon site cleanup to cost $7M

Soil to depth of 10 feet to be removed from 20 acres of brownfield site

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star


Terre Haute officials next week will solicit bids for a $7 million cleanup of a 20-acre contaminated brownfield site at the former Terre Haute Coke and Carbon site.

The project, which will cover all frontage property at the site along 13th Street and along Hulman Street, will remove soil to a depth of 10 feet, which will include removal of any former building foundations or pipes. The removal will extend 325 feet into the property, or about the depth of a city block.

A final site investigation and recommendation for cleanup was issued to the city Aug. 14 from Weaver Boos Consultants of South Bend. Early cleanup estimates ranged between $2.5 million and $3 million.

“We had no idea of the actual costs because we had not completed all of the site investigation until August and we had no engineering costs. We were stunned with the actual cost,” said Pat Martin, Terre Haute city planner.

The city tentatively plans to award a bid for the remediation work on Nov. 13, Martin said. The cleanup is estimated to require eight to nine months of work, Martin said.

Soil at the site contains elevated levels of several contaminants such as benzo(a)pyrene, naphthalene as well as toluene, arsenic and lead. The contaminants are all byproducts of coke, produced from coal, at the former coke and manufactured gas production facility from 1926 to 1988.

The cleanup will remove at least 80,000 cubic yards of soil, which will be hauled to the Sycamore Ridge Landfill in southern Vigo County. Of that amount, 6,500 cubic yards of coal tar-impacted soil will be removed.

The city assumed ownership of the entire 52-acre site in 2010, part of which had been previously held by Vigo County. The city has 10 groundwater monitoring wells on site, which indicate none of the contaminates has moved off site, Martin said.

Once completed, the land will become a prime commercial development area, according to city officials.

An additional 20-acre portion at the rear of the property, which also contains contaminants, will remain untouched until future cleanup funds are obtained, Martin added.

The city previously obtained about $250,000 in grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana Brownfields program for site investigation studies. The cleanup will be paid as part of a $150 million bond issue for a sanitary project that will construct a new $115 million wastewater treatment plant. By including the brownfield cleanup, the city receives a 0.5 percent interest discount on its bond issue from the Indiana Finance Authority, said City Engineer Chuck Ennis.

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