Johnson County residents to meet with EPA officials Friday

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FRANKLIN, In - Concerned families in Johnson County are planning to meet with the EPA Friday night. They are concerned about high numbers of pediatric cancer calling it a cancer cluster.

The EPA wants to hear the concerns straight from the residents at a listening session. The agency will also launch its own investigation looking to find out if something is causing the higher cancer levels.

An organization called "If It Was Your Child" began raising concerns when it discovered a high number of cancer cases in children. 50 pediatric cancer cases happened in Johnson county, 23 of them were in franklin.

The non-profit environmental group Edison Wetlands Association conducted vapor intrusion testing in 14 homes near the former Amphenol/Franklin Power and Webb Wellfield sites.

The organization found higher levels of TCE, PCE and Radon in some of the homes.

Kari Rhineheart helped start "If It Was Your Child" after her 13-year-old daughter died of a rare form of brain cancer.

“What is not routine is when a town like Franklin, Indiana which holds 17 percent of the county's population, has 46 percent of the pediatric cancer in that county. What's not routine is that most of those 46 percent of those children lived less than two miles away from this contamination of TCE,” Rhinehart said.

The EPA is working with the state of Indiana and the federal agency for toxic substances and disease registry for the investigation.

The EPA says people can also hire licensed professionals to their homes for radon.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the Franklin Performing Arts Center.

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