September 20, 2021

EPA Removes PCB-laced Bloomington Sites From Superfund List

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has removed three Superfund sites in Bloomington from an agency priority list, saying cleanup work at the PCB-tainted sites is now complete.

The EPA said monitoring will continue at the three sites, which were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. The EPA says those toxic industrial chemicals can damage the nervous and reproductive systems and can cause cancer.

The three Superfund sites are a limestone quarry pit at the former Bennett Stone Quarry, the Lemon Lane Landfill and Neal’s Landfill, The Herald-Times reported.

Mayor John Hamilton said in a news release that the EPA's move marks an “important milestone" and is the culmination of work spanning at least five mayoral administrations.

The three sites were polluted primarily from PCB-contaminated capacitors, or electronic devices similar to a battery, which were produced in Bloomington by Westinghouse Electric Corp., which merged in 1995 with CBS and is now a subsidiary of ViacomCBS.

The city of Bloomington sued Westinghouse and Monsanto, which supplied Westinghouse with PCBs, and asked for $387 million in damages. In 1985, Westinghouse, the EPA, the city of Bloomington, Monroe County and state health officials signed a consent decree to address PCB-contaminated materials from six sites in and near Bloomington.

Since then, cleanup at the sites has involved the removal of capacitors and contaminated soil, capping the landfills and the construction of water treatment facilities.

ViacomCBS will have to continue to operate the water treatment plants, perform maintenance and take other actions, said Thomas Alcamo, EPA remedial project manager.

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