RICHMOND, Ind. — The US Environmental Protection Agency detected potentially toxic chemicals after testing the site of a massive warehouse fire in eastern Indiana earlier this year.
The EPA released several results and findings on Tuesday from a study conducted at the former site of My-Way Trading, a plastic recycling facility on NW F Street in Richmond.
A group of the company’s warehouses caught fire on April 11, 2023, which led to evacuation orders being issued as the fire burned and belched smoke over the city. Several buildings and massive amounts of plastic were ablaze for several days.
After days of Richmond residents being evacuated and firefighters combatting the blaze, the fire was under control and evacuation orders were lifted on April 16.
Soon after, the EPA and state environmental agencies began taking samples from the site amid concerns over hazardous materials having been burned.
Those test results, which were released online by the EPA on Tuesday, show positive results for potentially toxic materials such as benzene and lead.
Additionally, other chemicals such as chloroform were shown to exceed safe limits.
While the EPA did test over 40 burned materials in the debris for asbestos, including sponges, foam and crumbs, all the items were marked as “not detect[ing]” asbestos. Click here for the full asbestos results.
There is currently an ongoing lawsuit filed by Richmond residents against the city regarding the fire and its potentially toxic debris. For more information on that lawsuit, click here.
The EPA’s full filings from Tuesday can be found on its website here.