GARY, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finished cleaning up contamination in northwest Indiana near Gary's airport that stemmed from a 1977 fire at a former hazardous waste recycling operation.
The federal agency said it recently finished the cleanup of the Midco II Superfund Site near the Gary/Chicago International Airport, paving the way for the airport’s potential reuse of the Gary site, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
The site was added to the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List in 1986 to address contamination left by the August 1977 fire, which destroyed or damaged an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 drums containing various wastes.
The Midco II site included a 7-acre disposal area with contaminated groundwater as well as about 4 acres of contaminated sediment and groundwater contamination.
The EPA said the cleanup involved consolidating and covering contaminated soil and sediment on site, addressing soil vapors and treating contaminated groundwater.
The Gary/Chicago International Airport has long had plans to reuse the adjacent site for possible expansion.
Dan Vicari, a consultant for the airport, said the land could potentially be used for parking or an expansion or other changes to the airport’s crosswind runaway.
He said any future land use at the site would require EPA approval.