The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has approved a plan to test the grounds of the former Reid Hospital campus in Richmond. Testing is expected to begin this week to determine if certain chemicals on the site occurred naturally and if any further evaluation or cleanup is needed.
The IDEM will oversee the testing. The work plan that was approved cited earlier studies in which radioactivity was found, but said the radioactivity could be naturally occurring and not the same type found in materials used for medical treatment. The plan suggested most contaminants found at the site are within or below levels allowed for properties used for commercial purposes.
"This brings us closer to learning the facts about the findings on the property and what responsibility, if any, Reid has for further testing or mitigation,” said Craig Kinyon, chief executive officer of Reid Health. "If we do, we will address it promptly and accordingly. The inside of the buildings, which we left in move-in condition, have deteriorated and been vandalized. Of course, these issues were not caused by Reid Health, and it grieves those of us who took care of the buildings in years past that they have been allowed to deteriorate to such poor and hazardous condition."
Reid Health left the campus in 2008 after it was sold to Rose City Development, which Reid says abandoned the property. Kinyon said he and other Reid officials are confident that the health system complied with environmental laws during its more than 100 years at the campus.
Kinyon said Reid Health will continue to cooperate with IDEM and city officials as the testing continues.