Scrap yard under investigation

By: Sarah Platt Email
By: Sarah Platt Email

A LaPorte County scrap yard is under investigation. Officials from Indiana's Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) say Jason’s Recycling has been asked to stop illegally disposing waste. Neighbors contacted Newscenter 16, after they felt they weren't making progress with state and local officials.

Under the zoning ordinance, the LaPorte County Building Commissioner says Jason's Recycling is not allowed to recycle cars or car parts. The issue has become an environmental concern for the scrap yard's closest neighbors, Cyndi Taylor and Kent Parker. For more than a year, the pair have taken pictures of what the county says is illegal disposal of battery acid and fuel. Taylor and Parker are concerned the waste is going to seep into their well water. But Jason Maupin, operator of Jason's Recycling, says they're taking steps to clean up and are "not trying to damage the land or water."

But neighbors think the company has been given enough chances, and this time, they say action needs to be taken. “We pretty much keep getting the same song and dance. The county tells us it's up to the state to do it, where the state says ‘no’, it's up to the county to do it,” says Kent Parker. Parker’s home overlooks the back of the scrap yard.

“The operation he's [Jason] doing is not permitted to be done in that area…. obviously you can see there are contaminants entering the soil out there and it does concern us if that is happening,” says Ray Hamilton, LaPorte County Building Commissioner.

IDEM has also asked the company to clean up or face enforcement action.

Norman Irk of LaPorte owns the property that Jason's Recycling is on. Over the phone, Irk tells me he’s not aware of anything illegal being done on the property that he's leasing to Maupin.

At this point, IDEM and LaPorte county officials haven’t set any timelines for a clean up. Maupin tells Newscenter that his company has made attempts to clean up the property.

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