TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Terre Haute City officials will soon find out if a gifted piece of river front property is contaminated with waste.
Last year, Sugar Creek Scrap donated the land to the city.
And now, the question is whether the land is stable for what the city wants to do with it.
A former scrap yard, now owned by the city, could be the backdrop for hazardous waste.
"The site is covered with lots of tires, lots of scrap steel,” said Chuck Ennis, city engineer.
The city plans to use this site for a floatable control structure.
It will filter trash, leaves and debris from storm water, before overflowing into the river.
But now, Ennis said officials are concerned about possible hazardous materials on-site.
"Since then, we have cleared the site of vegetation and in the process of clearing the vegetation, we've uncovered some evidence that lead us to believe that there's more there than just trash,” said Ennis.
That's when engineers contacted environmental officials.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will test the soil and determine how contaminated the site, if there IS any contamination.
The site is too far off the beaten path for the city to have to worry about those possible materials.
But Ennis said it’s important to ensure the site is clean for the long haul.
"We want to make sure that the soil the contractors are removing is not contaminated…
We're trying to clean up the riverfront and this is part of that cleanup…
Unfortunately, this site was as dirty as it is, but we're getting it cleaned up,” said Ennis.
State and federal environmental officials (EPA and IDEM) visited the site last week. EPA is expected back next week to take soil samples.
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