Last modified: Monday, July 24, 2006
IU environmental project to begin at Range Road site
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will begin an environmental restoration project this week at a site used during the 1970s for storage of ash generated by the University's power plant and during the 1990s for storage of emergency-use coal.
The university contracted with the Indianapolis-based environmental consulting firm August Mack Environmental Inc. to direct the work on property owned by the university near Range Road on the northeast side of Bloomington.
For several years ending in 1998 the university stored emergency-supply coal at the site for possible use at IU's power plant. During the 1970s, coal ash generated by the power plant was placed at the site. No activities have occurred at this site since 1998.
IU has conducted extensive sampling at the site, including two years of surface water and groundwater sampling. All of these samples have demonstrated that neither groundwater nor surface water from the site has been contaminated from these historic practices.
In addition, sampling of the ash itself has found that it does not present any risk to human health or the environment. According to IU Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Terry Clapacs, "Even though no adverse impacts are present at this site in its current state, the university has decided to regrade the site and put in soil cover and vegetation."
Clapacs said IU will also construct two new wetlands at the base of the site by Indiana Creek to enhance the natural habitat of the area.
"When completed, this work will nicely complement the natural amenities of the area," Clapacs said.
The purpose of this work is two-fold. Most importantly, the University's goal is to finalize work in the Range Road area that began in 2000 with the closure of three former shooting ranges in the area.
Following this work, IU enrolled former ash storage area at the Range Road site into the Indiana Voluntary Remediation Program to give the Indiana Department of Environmental Management a formal opportunity to review IU's environmental data and plans for the site.
"We knew we had no legal obligation to enroll the site in the VRP, but we wanted to get IDEM's approval of our plans consistent with the university's commitment to be a good environmental steward and neighbor," said Kirk White, IU Director of Community Relations. "IDEM reviewed all of our data and agreed with our approach to the site."
The earth-moving, grading and soil cover placement will occur beginning in late July and last for about 12 weeks, weather permitting. Neighbors in the area may notice trucks bringing clean fill dirt to the site as the work progresses. The total cost of the project is approximately $1.1 million.
In conjunction with its primary goal of implementing an environmentally sound design for the site, IU's secondary goal is to restore the appearance of the area. Although the university has not developed any long-term plans for the property in and around the site, the scheduled environmental work has been designed so it can be incorporated into any long-term use for the property.
For further information, please contact White at 812-855-0850 and firstname.lastname@example.org.