EPA Concludes Industrial Site Clean Up

Information reprinted with permission of the Courier Times, local newspaper New Castle, Indiana www.thecouriertimes.com

EPA concludes industrial site clean up

Posted: Friday, July 28, 2017 6:00 am

After three months on the job, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its clean up of debris from a former industrial site on S. 25th Street in New Castle. 

The project, which started in April, involved removal of an estimated 6,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated material from the 9.3 acre property. 

The site was the location of a Firestone brake pad manufacturing facility in the 1970s. Asbestos was commonly used in the manufacture of automotive products including clutches, gaskets, hood liners and brake pads until the late 1970s.

After the Firestone facility closed, Stealth Boat Corporation operated on the property as a boat repair and manufacturing facility from 2003 to 2007. Double Dabble Development operated there from 2007 to 2012.

In 2012, a fire broke out on the property which led to the factory being demolished. What remained was 22 piles of asbestos-contaminated rubble.

City officials attempted to secure the property by putting up gates and fencing; however, the large piles of debris often led to people cutting holes in the fence to sneak in as they looked for scrap metal and other materials that might hold some value.

“As soon as we would fix it there would be another hole,” said New Castle Mayor Greg York. “There would be a hole in about the amount of time it took to run home and grab a pair of pliers.”

The EPA kept the site wet while working there in order to keep dust and airborne particulates to a minimum. Crews transported debris from the site to a landfill in Portland, Indiana.

Wednesday, Anita Boseman, EPA’s on-scene coordinator for the clean up effort, met with New Castle Mayor Greg York in the parking lot of the newly cleared area to announce that the EPA’s effort was finished and return access to the site to the city.

“If it wasn’t for the EPA this wouldn’t have been possible,” York said. “The EPA lived up to everything they said they would do.”

The process was originally estimated to take roughly three months to complete, and the EPA budgeted $1.3 million to complete it. The project was finished in three months and came in under cost at around $1 million, Boseman said.

“It’s totally done. Now, they can come on and do whatever development they want to do,” Boseman added. 

The EPA did not remove a large pile of old tires from the site. Those are the city’s to deal with. The agency also did not remove any sub-surface contamination that may be present on the property. The New Castle Redevelopment Commission owns the property and it will be the RDC’s responsibility to deal with anything below ground level that may need to be addressed.

The site is zoned for heavy industrial use and has a viable railroad line running through it. Mayor York said bringing a new factory to the location is high on his priority list and indicated efforts to market it to potential new tenants will be made.