Delaware County industrial site testing continues
Delaware County officials say recent environmental testing near the Industria Center industrial park in Muncie has not revealed widespread contamination above health standards for residential areas. However, county commissioners say testing of the site will continue.
The first phase of testing began in 2020 on the 1000-acre site which included the collection of soil, air and water samples. The second phase of testing, conducted in 2021 and 2022, included surface water, groundwater and private well inspections on 43 private properties near the industrial park.
Testing, which was paid for by county commissioners and Delaware County Redevelopment Commission, was conducted by Mundell & Associates Inc.
On Tuesday, it released the results of its latest report, which explored the surround private properties.
“All of this was done on behalf of the county, but in response to concerns of citizens there based on the long history of industrial activity in the area,” said Luke Johnstone of Mundell regarding the latest phase 2 environmental testing.
Johnstone says in the southwest drainage basin and area surrounding a former landfill, the testing did not reveal the presence of area-wide heavy metal contamination, no volatile organic compound contamination and no downstream leaching or migration.
The Mundell report indicates lead trended above background levels but still appeared generally below residential screening levels and comparable to other cities.
“With regards to surface soil lead results, all the results were generally below human health exposure limits for residential, but we did see some trends with lead,” Johnstone said. “What we found is that to the northwest, southwest and southeast, lead in soils away from major roadways was comparable to what is found in rural Indiana.
In terms of water samples, lead was detected and found to be above acceptable residential screening levels. However, the company said it could be attributed to corroding pipes in residential wells.
“People who grew up in rural settings across the country don’t often think about servicing the pumps and piping systems found in their wells,” said Johnstone. “Lead-containing plumbing and mechanical parts supplied decades ago sometimes cause elevated concentrations in the water from those wells.”
Further testing will be done.