BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has removed three Superfund sites in Bloomington from the agency’s priority list, saying cleanup work on PCB-contaminated 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 these toxic industrial chemicals can damage the nervous and reproductive systems and cause cancer.
The three Superfund sites are a limestone quarry at the former Bennett Stone Quarry, Lemon Lane Landfill and Neal Landfill, The Herald-Times reported.
Mayor John Hamilton said in a press release that the EPA’s decision marks a “milestone” and is the culmination of work spanning at least five municipal governments.
All three sites were polluted primarily by PCB contaminated capacitors, or battery-like electronics, 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 has sued Westinghouse and Monsanto, which supplied Westinghouse with PCBs, and asked for $ 387 million in damages. In 1985, Westinghouse, EPA, City of Bloomington, County of Monroe, and State Health Authorities signed a Consent Order to address PCB contaminated material from six sites in and around Bloomington.
Since then, site clean-up has involved removing condensers and contaminated soil, capping landfills, and building water treatment facilities.
ViacomCBS will need to continue to operate the water treatment plants, perform maintenance and take other actions, said Thomas Alcamo, remediation project manager at EPA.