INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday announced funding to start a new cleanup project at the Keystone Corridor Ground Water Contamination site in Indianapolis.

The site — located near the intersection of East Fall Creek Parkway North Drive and Keystone Avenue — is one of 22 Superfund sites to receive a total of $1 billion in the second wave of funding for new cleanup projects, as well as the expedition of over 100 other ongoing cleanups across the country. The funding comes from the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the EPA said.

Keystone Corridor Ground Water Contamination Site

The site consists of the Fall Creek well field and potential sources of the groundwater contamination, said the EPA. The agency explained that the groundwater has been affected by a 4,500-foot-long by 1,500-foot-wide plume (or underground mass) contaminated by high concentrations of volatile organic compounds typically used by dry cleaners and metalwork shops. The plume consists of chlorinated organic compounds (CVOCs), including tetrachloroethene (PCE),  trichloroethene (TCE)cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-1,2-DCE), which is a breakdown product of PCE and TCE, and vinyl chloride, detailed the EPA.

The agency added that several site-cleanup milestones have already been achieved through federal and state actions, including the installation of vapor intrusion mitigation systems. The EPA’s selected remedy for a portion of the site is to apply energy (heat or steam) underground to mobilize, vaporize, capture and treat the contaminants.

Superfund Site Cleanups

The EPA released the following statement on Superfund sites:

Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed, including in manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills, and mining sites. Superfund cleanups help transform contaminated properties and create jobs in overburdened communities, while repurposing these sites for a wide range of uses, including public parks, retail businesses, office space, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. In addition, these sites can support natural areas, parks, and recreation facilities, providing greenspace and safe places for families to play outside.

A total of $3.5 billion was allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The first wave of funding was announced in December of 2021, in which EPA deployed more than $1 billion for cleanup activities at more than 100 Superfund National Priorities List sites across the country. The EPA said it started 81 new cleanup projects in 2022, including projects at 44 sites previously on the backlog.