News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 16, 2012

Sanitary Board to act next week on Coke/Carbon contract

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Board of Sanitary Commissioners is set to meet next week to move forward with a $7 million environmental cleanup inside the city.

The special meeting, set for 8:15 a.m. Wednesday in the Board of Public Works conference room in City Hall, will deal with awarding a contract to clean up the former Terre Haute Coke and Carbon site at South 13th and Hulman streets.

The five-member commission, whose members are appointed by the mayor to oversee operations of the city’s sanitary district, met earlier this week to award the contract, but the approval was halted by concerns about whether two required requests for bids had been published. A second legal notice requesting bids was published in the Tribune-Star Wednesday.

Seven days must pass before bids can be awarded after the final publication date, according to Indiana law, which is why the new meeting is set for the middle of next week.

The Coke and Carbon site cleanup will involve removing 80,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and replacing it with clean soil. The soil is contaminated from decades of coke production at the site. Coke is produced from coal. The contaminants include benzo(a)pyrene, naphthalene, toluene, arsenic and lead.

Money for the cleanup is coming through the city’s $150 million bond issue to pay to replace the city’s aging wastewater treatment facility. The city was able to receive a 0.5-percent discount on the interest on that bond issue by including the Coke and Carbon cleanup, which is a brownfield remediation project. That savings essentially pays for the cleanup, said Chuck Ennis, city engineer.

Eventually, the city is hoping to transform the site into a location for new manufacturing businesses. It is accessible by rail and by the newly widened South 13th Street corridor and is near Interstate 70, city officials note.