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Franklin Site Investigations

IDEM Investigation Updates (click on the Virtual File Cabinet (VFC) links below to access all site  documents):

  1. Former Warrior Oil
    • Previous sampling data provided by the site owner showed limited soil petroleum contamination and no groundwater contamination above IDEM Remediation Closure Guide Residential Tap Water Screening Levels. The 2018 on-site drinking water well sample contained no contaminants above IDEM screening levels. Soil and groundwater samples meet current IDEM Remediation Closure Guide Residential Screening Levels. Therefore, no risks are apparent to human health or the environment, and no additional investigation or remediation activities are required at this time. An IDEM “Close Out Report” letter for the site was sent on November 25, 2019 (82869062 [PDF]).
  2. Radwell Real Estate (600 N. Forsythe Street)
    • Response to an IDEM information request showed the facility was primarily an electric motor warehouse and distribution center. Hazardous compounds were not utilized at the facility, and groundwater contamination detected on the property was determined to be related to the Amphenol plume. As the facility is not a source of a contaminant release, and Amphenol’s detected groundwater contaminant levels near the building are not a concern for vapor intrusion, the property does not appear to pose a risk to human health or the environment. An Environmental Restrictive Covenant (ERC) prohibiting future groundwater use for drinking purposes will be recorded, and no additional investigation or remediation activities are required at this time. IDEM will issue a site closure letter once an ERC is recorded on the property.
    • While this property was shown to not be a source of contamination, a site number for the facility was created, and the site was added to IDEM’s interactive map, because IDEM requires an ERC on the property.
  3. Former Franklin Power Products (400 N. Forsythe Street)
    • Sampling data showed limited groundwater contamination that was confined to the facility property and no indoor air vapor intrusion detections.
    • IDEM received the results of the March and June 2020 vapor samplings (82962935 [PDF] and 83050811 [PDF]) conducted to confirm the previous indoor vapor investigation results. Both additional rounds of sampling data showed no detectable chlorinated vapor levels indoors.
    • Previously collected sampling data showed the property does not appear to pose a risk to human health or the environment. An Environmental Restrictive Covenant (ERC) prohibiting future groundwater use for drinking purposes was recorded in November 2020 (83075482 [PDF]), and no additional investigation or remediation activities are required at this time. IDEM issued a site closure letter on December 14, 2020 (83082913 [PDF]).
  4. RCO Reed Corp. (former Hougland Tomato Cannery)
    • IDEM received documentation related to a December 2018 waste inspection, and agency concerns with waste storage and handling have been addressed.
    • IDEM wastewater inspection staff conducted a June 2019 compliance inspection related to the Eastview Drive sewer investigation and found no illegal facility discharges.
    • A Remedial Action Plan proposing a soil contaminant source removal was approved by IDEM in a letter issued November 25, 2019 (82869067 [PDF]). The April 24, 2020 Source Area Remediation Report (82958035 [PDF]) noted:
      1. Excavation and disposal of 2,500 tons of non-hazardous soil contamination was conducted the week of February 10, 2020. Groundwater remediation ports were installed in the excavation and backfilling was completed.
      2. A mixture of approximately 3,100 lbs. potassium permanganate and 7,000 gallons of water was injected into the ground for source-area groundwater remediation. Further groundwater sampling is planned to determine remedy effectiveness.
      3. Quarterly groundwater monitoring will be conducted for one to two years to assess the effectiveness of the remediation activities.
      4. Groundwater monitoring events were conducted in June 2020 (83050053 [PDF]) September and December 2020 (83100447 [PDF]), March 2021 (83161487 [PDF]), and June 2021 (83223427 [PDF]).
      5. A determination on the need for additional remediation is pending the collection and reporting of additional quarterly groundwater sample results.
      6. Additional groundwater samples were collected September and December of 2021 (83285880 [PDF]), March and June of 2022 (83349718 [PDF]) September of 2022 and November of 2022.
      7. After remedial injections began at Hurricane Development, remaining contaminant levels in groundwater at RCO Reed were greatly reduced.
  5. Hurricane Development (former Hougland Tomato Cannery)
    • In January 2020, additional vapor intrusion investigation samples were collected at the former gymnastics center (82904202 [PDF]) and the recycling building (82904208 [PDF]).
      1. All former gymnastics center indoor air results were below IDEM Residential Indoor Air Screening Levels.
      2. Because indoor air results at the recycling center were above IDEM Residential and Commercial Indoor Air Screening levels, IDEM requested additional source identification, mitigation, and reduction activities at the recycling building in addition to the previously approved sampling events scheduled for both buildings in February and March 2020.
        1. An air filter system was installed in the office of Crossroads Recycling the week of March 29, 2020. Post-treatment sampling showed the need for additional mitigation measures, which were installed in the building May 21, 2020.
        2. Subsequent sampling in April and May 2020 showed additional mitigation measures were successful in decreasing levels below applicable IDEM screening standards (82994748 [PDF]).
        3. June and July 2020 indoor air sample results remained below applicable IDEM screening standards (83056507 [PDF]). In August, IDEM received a source identification proposal for the recycling center area (83025211 [PDF]).
        4. October 2020 indoor air sample results showed the office area exceeded applicable IDEM screening standards (83086698 [PDF]), necessitating change out of the carbon filter.
        5. Vapor sampling was conducted in the facility through October 2020. An additional interim sub-slab depressurization system was installed in the recycling building in June 2021 to address sub-slab vapor. A permanent vapor mitigation system, to replace the interim mitigation measures, is in the design phase.
    • The February 2020 vapor sampling event was conducted at the recycling center and the former gymnastics center the week of February 17, 2020.
      1. The final facility-wide indoor air sampling for Crossroads Recycling was conducted the week of March 29, 2020. Summary reports of the vapor samplings are in the VFC (82977125 [PDF] and 82941577 [PDF]). As the gymnastics center permanently closed in March/April 2020, further sampling(s) at the facility were postponed pending a future reuse of the building.
      2. IDEM contacted the new occupant of the building in September 2020 and determined the building is used as a merchandise sales warehouse. Based on previous sampling results meeting applicable IDEM screening standards and the present building use, further sampling was not required.
    • In January 2019, shallow and deep groundwater monitoring wells were installed in the farm field east of the site to evaluate the eastward and vertical boundaries of the site groundwater contamination.
    • Additional groundwater delineation activities were proposed (83025211 [PDF]) and conducted to the east and southeast through December 2020 to further define the groundwater contamination within the farm fields (83119690 [PDF]). Over 70 monitoring wells were installed on the eastern portion of the former Hougland site and adjacent farm fields.

    IDEM received a Remediation Action Plan (83172153 [PDF]) in June 2021 to address the identified groundwater contamination with injections to capture and degrade the contaminants.

    • Vegetation clearing and grubbing was started in September 2021 to enable the on-site injections in some areas. On-site injections will continue through November 2021 and will be followed by off-site injections in the farm field to the east beginning in January 2022.
    • On- Site injections were conducted in November of 2021 followed by off-Site injections in January 2022 (83349490 [PDF]).
    • Followup groundwater monitoring shows that the remedial injections are producing the desired results with reductive dechlorination occurring on and off-Site (83383134 [PDF]), (83418566 [PDF]), (83463075 [PDF]), (83493402 [PDF]), (83510002 [PDF]).
    • An “Underground Vault Pilot Study Report and Remedial Work Plan” was submitted on January 6, 2023 (83414234 [PDF]) and approved by IDEM on March 15, 2023 (83446576 [PDF]).
    • IDEM wastewater inspection staff conducted a June 2019 compliance inspection related to the Eastview Drive sewer investigation and found no illegal facility discharges.
    • Previous sampling results showed no downgradient detections of chlorinated compounds in the groundwater near the schools and the residential neighborhood, and thus people are not, and have not, been exposed to contaminated groundwater or any vapors associated with this site.
  6. Former Arvin Industries
    • IDEM reviewed, a "Supplemental Initial Site Investigation Report/Work Plan" (82801877 [PDF]) containing the May 2019 site investigation results and an additional investigation proposal. An IDEM comment and work plan approval letter was issued on November 25, 2019 (82869058 [PDF]).

      IDEM-approved further site investigation activities were conducted and completed the week of March 16, 2020, and IDEM received the supplemental investigation results April 28, 2020 (82958039 [PDF]). IDEM provided report comments and received a response October 27, 2020 (83148993 [PDF]).  Based on the sampling results and the response, “No Further Action” was requested. IDEM requested and received a draft ERC and is finalizing the document for site closure.

      1. IDEM requested and received a draft ERC, and finalized the document for site closure, which will be provided once the ERC has been recorded.
      2. An ERC was recorded for the site and a "No Further Action” designation was given to Arvin on May 25, 2022 (83327800 [PDF]).
    • IDEM hazardous waste and wastewater inspection staff conducted a June 2019 compliance inspection and found no illegal facility discharges. IDEM concerns with waste documentation, labeling, and hazard communications have been addressed.
  7. Webb and Needham Schools
    • IDEM, Franklin Community Schools, and the City of Franklin collaboratively worked to evaluate sewers located adjacent to the schools. On March 27, 2019, IDEM and the city/school’s consultant collected sewer vapor samples from access points on school property and along Eastview Drive.
    • Results of IDEM’s sewer tests showed the sewer connections sampled closest to the schools were non-detectable for the presence of TCE and PCE (82743265 [PDF])
    • The nature and extent of contamination has been adequately investigated and ample evidence has been provided that there is no risk through any potential exposure pathway. Two rounds of indoor air testing confirmed there are no detections of contaminants inside the buildings. Also, though not required, Franklin Community Schools installed vapor mitigation systems in both schools. Therefore, no further action is necessary.

The Indiana State Department of Health site provides additional information.

Hurricane Creek: Three surface water samples were collected on August 23, 2018. No detectable volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found in any of the sample locations.

Short Term Air Monitoring: IDEM conducted ambient air testing on August 29, 2018 in six locations around the city. All six ambient air samples were well below IDEM Remediation Closure Guide Residential Indoor Air Screening Levels for PCE and TCE.

Stationary Air Monitor: The Franklin Active Adult Center stationary air monitor was installed on October 1, 2018. As IDEM’s stationary air monitor has detected no levels of concern in the ambient air during its entire operation, sampling was discontinued in December 2019.

Edison Wetlands Association (EWA)/Mundell 2018 Report: IDEM committed to re-sampling three of the homes and the ambient air site due to the levels of contaminants detected as shown in the EWA (Mundell) air sampling report. In addition to 11 homes tested and found to have no vapor intrusion concerns, based on the results of IDEM’s and EWA’s subsequent vapor resampling of the 3 homes, subsurface and/or sewer vapors are not affecting indoor air at any of the sampled locations:

  • EWA/Mundell sampling location #6: IDEM re-sampled this home on August 14, 2018. No detections of PCE or TCE were found in the indoor air, crawlspace or ambient air.
  • EWA/Mundell sampling location #13: IDEM re-sampled this home on October 16, 2018. No detections of TCE or PCE were found in the indoor air, basement or ambient air.
  • EWA/Mundell sampling location #12: IDEM re-sampled this home on October 17, 2018. No detections of TCE or PCE were found in the indoor air, crawlspace or ambient air.

Edison Wetlands Association (EWA)/Mundell 2019 Report: A total of 30 homes were sampled by EWA/Mundell. Based on the general address descriptions reported, it appears that 21 homes were sampled in the area of IDEM oversight and 9 homes sampled in the Amphenol/EPA area of investigation.

  • Of the 21 homes sampled in IDEM’s area of investigation, only two had indoor air detections of TCE and/or PCE above IDEM residential indoor air screening guidelines. Mundell sample location #14 (S. Home Avenue) appears to be a home previously sampled by EWA/Mundell (former sample location #13) and IDEM. IDEM had determined that the detections in the home were caused by household chemicals, and are unrelated to vapor intrusion. The latest results continue to support IDEM’s previous findings. IDEM has published several lists of a limited number of household chemicals containing VOCs which can cause elevated indoor air levels. The lists can be found on the Technical Guidance for Cleanups page. Please note that the listings are not all-inclusive of household chemicals containing the compounds.
  • EWA/Mundell sampling location #5 (Heritage Trail) is a home that was newly constructed in 2018. Mundell sampled the home on March 1, 2019 and April 4, 2019. As neither the subsurface vapor sample nor the sewer cleanout sample indicated the presence of vapor intrusion, IDEM interprets the detections to likely be related to new home construction materials.

Groundwater and Soil Gas Sampling: Drilling was completed on August 28, 2018 and three groundwater samples were taken. Soil gas samples were collected on September 6, 2018.

Paris Estates Well Sampling: Sampling complete. None of the nine VOC chemicals, including TCE and PCE, were found in the water above the laboratory detection limits at any of the 24 homes tested. Individual results are available on the interactive map.

Franklin Investigation Activities Summary Outside of the Amphenol Investigation Area: As shown on the Franklin Area Investigations map [PDF], areas of potential concern are limited to the facilities of interest and a farm field located to the east of the former Hougland Tomato Cannery.

  • The Franklin Area Investigations map shows the general locations of samples collected by or under the oversight of IDEM, the U.S. EPA, the City of Franklin, Franklin Community Schools Corporation, the Indiana State Chemist’s Office, and/or the owners of the facilities of interest. It also shows the general location of TCE in groundwater.
  • IDEM and the Indiana State Chemist’s Office (at IDEM’s request) conducted multiple facility inspections related to hazardous waste and/or other material management, handling, and disposal practices. Most of the identified concerns related to incomplete paperwork and inadequate on-site worker hazard communication. All of the identified issues have been addressed. IDEM wastewater inspectors also conducted inspections of seven facilities. No evidence of current or previous illegal discharges were found.
  • Sewer samples collected by IDEM staff and the consultant for the City of Franklin, outside of the Amphenol area of investigation, indicated no concerns with the sewers and no potential for vapor intrusion to residences or schools in the area.
  • Indiana-American Water Company tests of drinking water in the community showed that supplied water meets, and has always met, safe drinking water standards. IDEM-sampled residential water wells were non-detectable for all tested compounds.
  • IDEM and EWA/Mundell sampled the water in Hurricane Creek and found no detections of the compounds of concern.
  • IDEM tested the ambient air across Franklin and installed a stationary air monitor in the community to test for TCE and PCE. No levels of concern have ever been detected. Additionally, indoor air was tested at the former Franklin Power Products building, and no levels of TCE or PCE were detected.
  • EWA/Mundell suggested that their residential air samplings in Franklin had shown vapor intrusion of chlorinated compounds may be occurring at some locations via the groundwater or sewers. IDEM reviewed all available current and previous sampling data and does not believe that vapor intrusion has been demonstrated at any of the over 30 sampled residences located outside of the Amphenol area of investigation. IDEM previously re-sampled three residences where EWA/Mundell previously found a level of concern, and IDEM found no evidence of vapor intrusion occurring at any of the locations. Based on all of the sampling conducted, it appears that the EWA/Mundell detections in the homes are related to household chemicals and/or new construction materials.


IDEM’s Office of Land Quality staff created the following IDEM guidance documents to help identify cleanup methods, technologies, or other tactics to use at contaminated sites in Indiana.


Franklin, like other cities and towns in Indiana, has a long commercial and manufacturing history. Environmental contamination in the city of Franklin has become a concern to its citizens. Residents have called attention to cancer cases in their community which they believe may be linked to environmental issues.

Exposure to volatile organic compounds can happen in many ways, but most commonly occurs when chemicals move through soil into groundwater and subsequently are taken up into drinking water wells. Vapors may also migrate through sewers and into structures (vapor intrusion).

These same chemicals may be present in residences and businesses through the use of certain consumer products such as cleaners, adhesives, lubricants, dry cleaning, and stain removers.

Former Webb Wellfield:

Two of three wells in the former Webb Wellfield were contaminated with the chemicals cis-1,2-dichloroethylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene based on findings from routine samples collected from the wells in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. These chemicals are volatile organic compounds that were identified in the groundwater at the former Webb Wellfield in quantities that did not threaten the potability of the water supply in Franklin. However, upon finding increasing concentrations of these contaminants over time, Indiana American Water chose to discontinue the use of these two wells in 2007 and by 2013 had closed all three wells. By doing so, the potential threat of exposure to contaminants (ingestion via drinking the water) was eliminated and the continued safety of Franklin’s water supply was ensured.

At no time during the operation of the former Webb Wellfield was the water from any of the wells considered unsafe for public consumption.

As a result of the contamination found in the former Webb Wellfield, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) conducted investigations to determine the source of the contamination. IDEM found tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene contamination in the soil and groundwater west of the former wellfield (former Hougland Tomato Factory). The investigation was referred to IDEM’s State Cleanup Program and is currently part of an enforcement-led action. IDEM will ensure remaining routes of human and environmental exposure, if any, are eliminated.


Franklin Power Products, Inc. and Amphenol Corp. conducted an environmental investigation and cleanup at their former Franklin industrial facility under two Administrative Consent Orders issued by U.S. EPA’s RCRA Corrective Action program in 1990 and 1998. U.S. EPA determined that a former owner and operator, Bendix Corp., released volatile organic compounds and other chemicals into the environment.

U.S. EPA is responsible for overseeing the investigation and cleanup of the Amphenol site.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Health Consultation

  • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a Health Consultation [PDF] for the analysis of contaminants in drinking water and indoor air at Amphenol Products Company Plant, Hougland Tomato Cannery, Webb Wellfield, and adjacent sites in northeast Franklin on June 7, 2023.

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