NIPSCO utility work

PERU – The Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is set to launch an environmental cleanup of a site that formerly housed a gas plant and has soil contaminated with chemicals such as arsenic.

NIPSCO is proposing to excavate the contaminated soil at the site located at 1619 W. Logansport Road, according to remediation plan submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

A gas plant was built on the property in 1905 for the Logansport & Wabash Valley Gas Company. The plant consisted of five buildings, which housed the equipment for operations, two iron gasometers and one oil tank. Other equipment and gas tanks were added over the years.

Today, the plant is no longer in operation, and the site serves as NIPSCO’s Peru operating site. The primary structure on site is an administration building.

NIPSCO began environmental testing at the site in 1995, and continued to test for contaminants up until 2017. Those tests revealed arsenic and other potentially toxic chemicals in the soil that exceeded IDEM’s screening levels by more than 10 times for commercial and industrial sites.

Now, the company has submitted a plan to voluntarily remediate the site and remove all the contaminated soil, which could currently expose workers and visitors to potentially toxic chemicals.

The company said excavation depths will range from 2-to-6 feet based on the location and depth of the chemicals. The soil will be removed from the site and replaced with back fill.

NIPSCO said the proposed remedial activities are anticipated to start immediately following IDEM’s approval of the remediation work plan, which will take approximately one month to complete.

After the cleanup is finished, the future use of the site will remain commercial or industrial in nature, according to the remediation plan. A deed restriction and soil management plan will be implemented to limit the area to non-residential uses and to mitigate potential risks to future utility or construction workers at the site.

IDEM is seeking public comments on the NIPSCO’s remediation work plan until Sept. 28. A copy of the plan and how to submit comments can be found online here.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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