Cleanup of contaminated soil and ground water has begun at Univertical Corporation. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Commissioner Thomas Easterly visited the site today to celebrate the milestone with owner Chuck Walker and Angola Mayor Richard Hickman.
An electrical resistive heating remediation system is being used to treat 20,100 cubic yards of soil and ground water that are contaminated with heavy oil and solvents used in past manufacturing and machining operations. The system includes a grid of 120 heating electrodes that are installed in the ground to vaporize the contaminants and 72 vacuum extraction wells that are collecting the vapors, which are finally treated through an on-site wastewater treatment system.
Dana Corporation, the site's previous owner, took responsibility for the release of the contaminants and, since 1994, had been working with IDEM on remediation activities. In 2006, when Dana filed for bankruptcy, completion of remediation work was uncertain. IDEM, Univertical, Steuben County, the City of Angola, and the Indiana Finance Authority worked together to establish a fund to address ground water contamination that was migrating from the site to the city's well field. IDEM also worked with the Indiana Attorney General's office to file a $7.5 million bankruptcy claim against Dana Corporation that, in October of 2009, was settled with 312,212 shares of Dana stock, which were transferred to Univertical and the City of Angola to defray their monetary input to the cleanup.
"Univertical is appreciative of the cooperation from the city, county and state to settle this matter in a way that is positive for all parties," said Mr. Walker. "First, a major environmental issue has been corrected eliminating any future concerns. Second, there is a quality industrial site that generates tax revenue and jobs in place of an abandoned brownfield. Finally, the Dana Bankruptcy left a black cloud over our business and it was impossible to move forward and invest until the issue was settled. The settlement has permitted Univertical to invest over $5 million in equipment and add 18 jobs to date in a recession. I want this success to be an example of private/government cooperation that works. The monies invested will be recovered many times over in taxes, jobs, and expenditures in the local and state economy."
"The City of Angola appreciates the great cooperation and effort by everyone involved with this project, especially IDEM and Chuck Walker at Univertical, to save our well water from being contaminated and keeping Univertical and its jobs in our city. This process was a great partnership effort between IDEM the City of Angola and Univertical that should be used as a cooperative example around our state," said Mayor Hickman.
"The remediation system being implemented at this site will effectively eliminate the source of contamination, saving money in terms of time and resources, and allow the company to move forward with expansion plans now rather than years from now. This project could not have happened without everyone working together," said Commissioner Easterly.
Soil cleanup may take between six and eight months; ground water cleanup may take as long as two years. Following the cleanup, ground water samples will continue to be collected and analyzed for an additional two to three years to confirm all cleanup issues have been effectively addressed.
IDEM (www.idem.IN.gov) implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids businesses and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.
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