An environmental consultant's report identified four options for cleaning up the property, including estimated costs. The report recommends treating the polluted site by mixing in chemical soil additives to degrade the contaminant, mostly the industrial solvent TCE, to safe levels.
The estimated cost would be
However, the cleanup has been delayed by additional testing needed to confirm the extent of contamination, according to state officials.
In the meantime, pits of murky water, piles of building debris, plastic parts, broken glass and rusty metal remain hidden among shoulder-high weeds on the seven-acre lot, with no fence and open to the surrounding neighborhood.
The site at the corner of
In addition to leaving behind a mess of hazardous chemicals and contaminated ground, the company,
A 2015 Courier & Press investigation of the contaminated site found that Stocks has since moved to
Now IDEM is working with an environmental consultant and an insurance company to cleanup the below-ground contamination.
Among the environmental concerns on the Miller Plating property are areas of heavy chromium contamination, as well as the industrial solvent TCE and other volatile organic chemicals, according to IDEM.
Soil contamination there is above safe levels for both residential and industrial contact, according to IDEM, and the groundwater is contaminated above both safe drinking standards and also the standard for vapor intrusion -- what happens when contaminated groundwater evaporates and enters a building exposing people to hazardous chemicals.
Additional testing was ordered by IDEM in March to better understand if the pollution extended off site. The tests did not find vapor contamination above safe residential levels in homes north of the site, said
Sneed said a second round of testing is needed to confirm those results.
The most expensive of the four cleanup alternatives identified by consultant
Earlier this year, IDEM project manager
However, the city may not have a ready means of facilitating redevelopment at the site once it is cleaned up.
"As far as development post clean up, of course we would like to see all vacant property redeveloped," said
But Coures said because the Miller Plating site is not in "a defined, declared redevelopment area" it is not under his department's authority. In addition, he said the
The term "brownfield," is defined by the EPA as a property where redevelopment "may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant" -- a definition adopted by
However, it has shifted its focus to working with the city to acquire and redevelopment blighted housing.
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