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EPA approves expanded clean-up plan for NIPSCO Bailly Generating Facility in Indiana

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World Coal,

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the final cleanup plan for Area C of the NIPSCO Bailly Generating Facility in Chesterton, Indiana, to prevent coal ash contamination from affecting the nearby Indiana Dunes National Park.

After extensive review and consideration of public comments on NIPSCO’s proposed plan, EPA expanded the clean-up to include the area known as Solid Waste Management Unit 14. The agency has also added a provision to establish a stakeholder group to continue public engagement on clean-up progress.

  • NIPSCO will remove dry coal ash from SWMU 15 and dispose of it at an off-site location. The company must also stabilise and solidify wet ash in SWMU 15 which is buried about 25 ft underground, exposing groundwater to contaminants.
  • SWMU 14 was used to relocate sand from another part of the NIPSCO facility. The small amount of ash there is not in contact with groundwater, but EPA is requiring a ‘hot spot’ removal with off-site disposal.
  • An area in the Greenbelt portion of the site, north of SWMU 15, will also be excavated to remove a small amount of coal ash.
  • The plan also requires NIPSCO to monitor the natural attenuation of the groundwater, establish institutional controls, and provide long-term stewardship to ensure the property remains safe into the future. Groundwater in the area is not used as a source of drinking water.

In the 1960s and 1970s, NIPSCO used SWMU 15 to dispose of ash created from burning coal to generate electricity. Coal ash contains various hazardous metals. The primary contaminant of concern at this site is the metal boron.

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