Cleanup of toxic NW Indiana lagoon accelerates

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

The cleanup of a 17-acre toxic lagoon is shifting into high gear in northwestern Indiana following decades of delays.

Gary's Ralston Street lagoon might appear tranquil and inviting to motorists traveling the Indiana Toll Road, but the site is filled with cancer-causing PCBs banned in 1976.

The Post-Tribune of Merrillville reports ( ) the lagoon holds more than a half-million cubic yards of sludge.

In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered a $67 million containment plan for the sludge amid fears that it would pose a health risk if the chemicals leached into ground or surface water.

Gary taxpayers are paying for the EPA-supervised cleanup. Last year, the City Council approved a 30 percent hike in stormwater fees to cover a $27.5 million bond for the project.

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