The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed removing part of the Douglas Road/Uniroyal Landfill Superfund Site in Mishawaka from the National Priorities List which tracks the nation’s most contaminated sites.
The site in question is a landfill on the intersection of Douglas and Grape Roads in Mishawaka that operated between 1954 and 1979 which the EPA says eventually led to soil and groundwater contamination.
The EPA partnered with the state to put a cap over the landfill and connect some residents to clean drinking water. Now officials say it’s safe to partially take the site off the National Priorities List.
EPA Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede says delisting the site will open up Mishawaka to more development.
“Not only does it remove the stigma of having a superfund site in the community, but it also sends a clear signal to potential developers and financial institutions that the site is ready to reuse.”
Thiede says existing groundwater contamination is preventing the entire site from being taken off the priorities list but he says it does not currently pose a risk to the public.
Steve Francis lives about a half mile from the superfund site and was named the Hoosier Environmental Council's Environmentalist of the Year for 2016. He says the proposal to partially delist the site is concerning because groundwater contamination is still an issue.
“Personally, the whole thing should still be a superfund site," he says. "I’m not sure that what they did in terms of capping the landfill completely alleviates the problem.”
The public has the opportunity to comment on delisting the site until July 23rd. The public may submit comments via:
For more information: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0501696
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