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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Invites Public Comment on the Revised Draft Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Report


Elkhart County, Elkhart, Indiana

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Groundwater beneath some properties along Lane Street in Elkhart, Indiana, is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including trichloroethylene (TCE), says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in its revised draft public health assessment. The report is available for public comment until April 29, 2013.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Elkhart County Health Department found the contamination in 2007, and most homes switched to municipal water in 2008. No residents are using contaminated wells for drinking water at this time.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination site on the National Priorities List of contaminated sites. Thus, ATSDR evaluated whether past exposure to chemicals in the groundwater could have caused harm. EPA published new toxicological information on TCE after the release of ATSDR’s August 2011 public health assessment, so ATSDR updated its evaluation using the new information. The updates did not change ATSDR’s overall findings.

ATSDR found that:

  • Some wells had TCE levels high enough to cause harmful effects in children and adults who drank and showered in the water.
  • Most of the private wells did not have harmful levels of TCE.
  • Contaminants in well water are not expected to cause harm because almost all private wells in the area have been replaced with municipal water. The one or two wells still in use did not have harmful levels of TCE.
  • Not enough information exists to evaluate whether chemical vapors from contaminated water underground may be entering and building up in homes (vapor intrusion).

ATSDR recommends that:

  • Residents still using private wells have their water tested regularly to ensure contaminant levels remain low.
  • EPA conduct further tests to assess the potential for vapor intrusion.

ATSDR’s report on the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination site is available for review at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/PHA/HCPHA.asp?State=IN. A copy of the report has also been placed at the main branch of the Elkhart Public Library, 300 South Second Street in Elkhart.

ATSDR welcomes public comments on the revised draft Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Public Health Assessment through April 29, 2013.

Comments on the public health assessment must be made in writing. Comments received during the public comment period will be kept in the ATSDR administrative record for the public health assessment. Comments received (without the names of those who submitted them) and ATSDR's responses to these comments will appear in an appendix to the final public health assessment. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release in answer to requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Send comments to: ATSDRRecordsCenter@cdc.gov, or mail to:

Attention: Rolanda Morrison
RE: Lane Street Ground Water Contamination
ATSDR Records Center
4770 Buford Highway, NE (MS F-09)
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717

For more information about the public health assessment, community members can contact Jill Dyken, Environmental Health Scientist, in Atlanta at JDyken@cdc.gov or 770-488-0768. Community members can also contact Mark Johnson, Senior Regional Representative, in ATSDR’s Chicago Office at 312-886-0840 or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Updated information about EPA’s investigation of the Lane Street site can be found on EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/region5/cleanup/lanestreet/index.html Exit disclaimer.

###

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects due to exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Related News Releases For Elkhart County, Elkhart, Indiana

 

ATSDR Releases Final Public Health Assessment For Lane Street Ground Water Contamination
Release Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has released its final public health assessment for the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination site in Elkhart, Indiana.

Public Invited to Comment on Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Report ATSDR to Host Public Meeting August 22
Release Date: Monday, August 08, 2011
Groundwater beneath some properties along Lane Street in Elkhart, Indiana is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including trichloroethylene (TCE), the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)concludes in its draft public health assessment.

ATSDR releases final report on Lusher Avenue Groundwater Contamination
Release Date: Friday, July 24, 2009
About 200 people were exposed to chemicals in drinking water wells near Lusher Avenue in Elkhart, IN, in the late 1980s, including an estimated 53 who were exposed to levels that may put them at greater risk for adverse health effects, concludes the final public health assessment (PHA) on the site from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Public Comment Sought for the Lusher Avenue Groundwater Contamination ATSDR Assessment
Release Date: Monday, March 02, 2009
Two decades after contamination was first found in Elkhart groundwater, federal officials continue to advise people who live in affected areas and use private wells to take precautions. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released its public health assessment of the site March 2 and is welcoming public comment on the assessment until March 31.

ATSDR to Host Open House Session about Upcoming Environmental Health Activities at the Lusher Avenue Groundwater Contamination Site
Release Date: Friday, October 31, 2008
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will hold an Open House in Elkhart, Indiana to gather community health concerns from residents of neighborhoods near the Lusher Avenue Groundwater Contamination Site.

ATSDR To Hold Meetings About Its Public Health Assessment for the Conrail Rail Yard Superfund Site in Elkhart, Ind.
Release Date: Thursday, July 29, 2004
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will hold a public availability session followed by a public meeting Aug. 3, 2004, about the Conrail Rail Yard Superfund Site in Elkhart, Ind. The agency recently issued the public comment version of its public health assessment for the site. At the public availability session from 4:30-6:30 p.m., ATSDR representatives will be available to talk one-to-one with community members about health concerns they believe are related to possible exposure to contaminants from the Conrail site.

ATSDR Releases for Public Comment Its Public Health Assessment for the Conrail Rail Yard Superfund Site in Elkhart, Ind.
Release Date: Thursday, July 01, 2004
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today released for public review and comment a public health assessment for the Conrail Rail Yard Superfund Site in Elkhart, Ind. The report was done at the request of community members and to update a preliminary public health assessment completed in 1989.

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