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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR To Hold Meetings About Its Public Health Assessment for the Conrail Rail Yard Superfund Site in Elkhart, Ind.


Elkhart County, Elkhart, Indiana

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.

From 6:30-7:30 p.m., ATSDR staff members will discuss the findings in their public health assessment. They also will solicit comments about the health assessment from community members. After the meeting, ATSDR representatives will be available to answer additional questions from community members.

Both gatherings are at Jimtown North Elementary School (formerly Harley Holbin Elementary School), 30046 C.R. 16, Elkhart, Ind.

The health assessment was done at the request of community members and to update a preliminary public health assessment completed in 1989.

At present, no exposure is occurring at levels of health concern in the area near the
Conrail site. Therefore, ATSDR categorizes the site as "No Public Health Hazard."

The public comment period for the health assessment continues through Aug. 30, 2004.

Copies of the public health assessment are available for review at
Elkhart Public Library
300 S. Second St.
Elkhart

Holben Elementary School
County Road. 16
Elkhart

Public health assessment comments must be made in writing. Comments should be mailed to
Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
ATSDR
1600 Clifton Road, NE (MS E-60)
Atlanta, GA 30333

In the past, people were exposed to a wide range of levels of chemicals that were of public health concern from the Conrail site. Of these, most significant were trichloroethylene and carbon tetrachloride.

Because contaminants remaining in neighborhoods northwest and north of the site could take decades to degrade, ATSDR's public health action plan includes recommendations to prevent future exposure. These recommendations include the following:

  • Issuing deed restrictions that prohibit private well drilling within the contaminant plumes.
  • Enforcing building codes that require new construction to have vapor mitigation systems installed.
  • Providing vapor mitigation systems in buildings as monitoring indicates and expanding areas of investigation as needed.
  • Providing information to area residents, especially new residents, about ways to avoid or minimize exposures to area groundwater and soil gas contamination.

Comments received during the public comment period will be logged in to the ATSDR administrative record for this health assessment. Comments received, without the names of individuals who submitted them, and ATSDR responses to the comments will appear in an appendix to the final public health assessment. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release for requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

For more information, community members can contact Health Communication Specialist Debra Joseph or Environmental Health Scientist Gail Godfrey, toll free, at 1-888-422-8737. Senior Regional Representative Mark Johnson also may be contacted at 312-886-0840. Callers should refer to the Conrail Rail Yard site in Elkhart, Ind.

Established by Congress in 1980 under the Superfund law, ATSDR conducts public health assessments at each of the sites on the EPA National Priorities List, as well as other sites when petitioned.

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Related PHA & HC For this Press Release


Conrail Rail Yard
Document Date: 8/11/2005 - PHA  [PDF - 8400 KB]

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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.

ATSDR Invites Public Comment on the Revised Draft Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Report
Release Date: 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.

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 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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