Summer 2018 Update

New Video about our Earth Day Activities

One of Dr. Steiner’s students, Luis Nunez, just completed a video about our Spring Earth Day activities. As you may recall, students in Dr. Steiner’s sociology classes, the Sociology Student Association and the Communication’s Honors Society collaborated with Blackford County Concerned Citizens, the Community Harvest Food Bank and the IPFW Food Pantry to give away live vegetables to food insecure residents on Earth Day.

Students volunteered all semester—sterilizing grow beds, shoveling dirt, planting seeds, and tending seedlings– to grow vegetables in the Purdue University Fort Wayne’s greenhouse to give to the community.

Purdue Fort Wayne’s physical plant and the Environmental Resources Center provided invaluable support to make this project successful.

Dr. LeBlanc’s Health Communications’ students helped us emphasize healthy eating patterns.

The Department of International Language and Cultural Studies translated plant care instructions into multiple languages.

Library Mini-Garden Giveaway Students made buttons, tied gangly plants to stakes, and canvassed neighborhoods to distribute information about the project to the community.

The idea originated with Blackford County Concerned Citizens.

As you know, BCCC and residents have been asking city officials to work with Hartford Iron & Metal (HI&M) to discuss their possible relocation to a nearby industrial site. The steel recycling plant has been contaminating the neighborhood air and water with heavy metals that are known carcinogens. If the discussion to relocate HI&M to the industrial park succeeds, a large brownfield will remain.

This pilot project was initiated to show Hartford City residents the feasibility of above-ground gardening on brownfields.

Dr. Mohammadpour’s students in a Sustainable Construction course designed an imaginary greenhouse suitable to the current lot where Hartford Iron & Metal is operating, and they showed how relocation to the industrial site would be beneficial to business expansion.

Preparing Trees for Planting Jabin Burnsworth also brought a carload of AP Science students from Manchester High School.

On Earth Day, many of the vegetable plants were taken to Hartford City, but we had more than enough and students were eager to share. Students helped distribute the live vegetables to students at semester’s end, and Community Harvest Food Bank was eager to help distribute the rest.

It is through projects like this, that Blackford County Concerned Citizens and the Hoosier Environmental Council are helping reduce the risk of cancer and neurological disease in Blackford County.

City-Wide Trash Pick Up This project was sponsored by a START grant from the College of Arts and Sciences and a Purdue Student Service-Learning Grant that provides seed monies for research, development, and community-building projects in which faculty and students work directly with community members, civic leaders, and regional institutions to accelerate Fort Wayne’s growth and enterprise.

Purdue Fort Wayne Moss Testing Project Underway

Dr. Sherrie Steiner in the Anthropology and Sociology Department and Dr. Jordan Marshall from Biology have begun the research grant to conduct another round of moss testing. If you are interested in volunteering to help water moss stations when our hosts are away, please contact Dr. Steiner at steiners[at]pfw[dot]edu. They are looking to create a list of volunteers who can assist our station hosts.  Thank you!

Record Turn-Out for Earth Day 2018 Activities

Earth Day 2018 Activities What a fine day we had last Saturday! The IPFW College of Arts and Sciences START program funded a record involvement of IPFW students to grow mini-gardens to give away at our events on Earth Day in Hartford City. Thank you, IPFW! Seven vans of IPFW students associated with Dr. Steiner in Sociology and Dr. LeBlanc in Communications joined us for a full morning of activities. Jabin Burnsworth also brought a carload of AP Science students from Manchester High School. Activities occurred throughout Hartford City.

Downtown Barbecue Compliments of John Oxley

 Downtown Barbecue Compliments of John Oxley Saturday was the best turn-out of citizens we have had at any event. The hub of activity was downtown at John Oxley’s barbecue. The food was quite an attraction, but Eric Evans, BCCC President, said that he personally talked with people non-stop throughout the event. Students gathered comment cards from residents and gave away mini-gardens to residents. The group made a great impression! Just look at the smiles.

Blackford Junior High School

IPFW student posters of information about Hartford Iron and Metal at the Junior High SchoolIPFW students had posters of information about Hartford Iron and Metal at the Junior High School. They gave away mini-gardens to visitors, answered questions, and talked about future plans for additional moss testing. Dr. Frank from Hoosier Environmental Council talked with residents about the public health implications of heavy metal exposure. We are grateful to Blackford Junior High School for opening their doors and providing a place for students to present their posters. Thanks as well to Katie at Common Grounds for providing coffee and snacks.

City-Wide Trash Pick Up

City-Wide Trash Pick Up IPFW students joined Hartford City residents in picking up trash to clean up city streets after this long dreary winter. There were almost as many student volunteers as there were volunteers from Hartford City! Everyone worked up an appetite for the lunch provided by John Oxley.

Library Mini-Garden Giveaway

Library Mini-Garden Giveaway The library was celebrating its expansion. Unfortunately, the wind came up and made the area quite chilly. Students stayed and gave away mini-gardens, but everyone was happy to get downtown to join others at John’s to warm-up and eat.

Preparing Trees for Planting

Preparing Trees for Planting Jabin Burnworth’s students from Manchester High School prepared trees for planting in recognition of Earth Day. They took the tree bundle to the park, separated trees, and bagged them to be given away at various locations for planting.Thank you, Jabin!

Mini-Garden Giveaway in Fort Wayne!

Mini-Garden Giveaway in Fort Wayne! When we collaborated with IPFW to grow mini-gardens in the IPFW greenhouse, we also collaborated with organizations in Fort Wayne. This week, more than 100 mini-gardens were given to students and food insecure residents in Fort Wayne. Faculty translated plant care instructions into Spanish, Burmese, Arabic, French and Japanese.

Community Harvest was delighted to receive the mini-gardens Community Harvest was delighted to receive the mini-gardens. This project built a lot of good will between students, the university, residents of Fort Wayne, and Blackford County Concerned Citizens.

Purdue Fort Wayne Funds Moss Testing!

Dr. Sherrie Steiner in the Anthropology and Sociology Department and Dr. Jordan Marshall from Biology applied for a research grant to conduct another round of moss testing. If you live near Hartford Iron and Metal and are interested in hosting a moss station on your property, please contact Dr. Steiner at steiners[at]pfw[dot]edu. They are looking to identify nine locations by the end of June. Thank you!

Come to the Junior High School Saturday April 21st

giving away free growing vegetables Blackford County Concerned Citizens is giving away free growing vegetables and distributing information about relocating Hartford Iron and Metal. Dr. Indra Frank will be present to answer any questions about health risks associated with pollution. IPFW students will be presenting information about air and groundwater conditions.

 

Saturday, April 21st from 10 am – 12 pm
Blackford Junior High School
700 West Conger Street
Hartford City, IN 47938

IPFW vans will also be downtown distributing vegetables and IPFW students are helping pick up trash in the community neighborhoods.

Note: The location was recently changed from City Hall to the Junior High School.

Please continue paying attention to this important issue. Thank you for your involvement.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 765-730-4168 or email us at blackfordcoconcernedcitizens[at]gmail[dot]com.

Mayor Hodgin and City Council Respond!

Hooray for Mayor Hodgin! Hooray for City Council Members!

Local Residents InvolvedIn a packed City Hall on Saturday morning, students from Dr. Sherrie Steiner’s class at IPFW and BCCC board members presented information and evidence from their nearly 3 year-long search and investigation about the high incidence of cancer and neurological disease in Blackford County.

In addition to the concerned residents, students from Taylor University, Manchester University, and North Manchester High School were in attendance.

The presentation focused on the air surrounding and the groundwater underneath Hartford Iron & Metal (HI&M). The presentation urged the government to support relocating HI&M to another location such as the Industrial Park. IPFW students presented drawings showing the possible business benefits to HI&M associated with relocation. The students also created posters explaining evidence of fugitive dust contamination.

November, 18 2017 MeetingEvidence presented showed contamination of the groundwater with heavy metals such as chromium, cadmium, nickel, lead, and arsenic, and that the flow of the groundwater was in the direction of city wells. Evidence from recent testing also showed air around the site was contaminated with similar heavy metals, suggesting that the only solution to protect the health of citizens is relocation.

Comments from citizens expressing their concerns about the situation were read to the attentive Mayor and City Council Members for a half an hour. More than fifty comment cards had been submitted related to what it has been like living near Hartford Iron and Metal, concerns over groundwater contamination and explaining why they want HI&M to relocate.

Upon hearing the presentation and asking several good questions, the Mayor and Council suggested the Mayor appoint a group to further study relocation of the local business. Mayor Hodgin boldly suggested that he would personally ask a representative from Hartford Iron and Metal to participate in the group. “That’s my job,” Hodgin said to the audience!

President Evans Ending On A Positive NoteIn closing, BCCC President, Eric Evans, encouraged all to focus on the solution to this community issue with cooperation as their guiding thought.

Please continue paying attention to this important issue. Thank you for your involvement!

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 765-730-4168 or email us at blackfordcoconcernedcitizens[at]gmail[dot]com.

You can still:

From The Presentation

Relocation Logistics New Location Urban Farming
Relocation Site Logistics Relocation Site Logistics Urban Farming

Proposed Urban Farm Layout

Resources

Government Officials Contact Information
Summary Of The Situation
Test Results From April 2017

Relocate Hartford Iron And Metal. Good For Business. Good For Health.

Residents of Hartford City,

We are collecting signatures and comments from the community to present to city officials in the meeting on Saturday, November 18th, 10 am at City Hall, 700 N. Walnut St., Hartford City, IN.

The <a href="http://www.in.gov/idem/">Indiana Department of Environmental Management</a> has allowed Hartford Iron and Metal to continue business and to expand operations for eleven years after being originally cited for violations even though they are still not in compliance with the Court Order Decree of 2009. You are also invited to the meeting on November 18th.

Have your voice heard! Please complete the comment card if you would like to ask city officials to enforce the law, and work with Hartford Iron and Metal to relocate to the Industrial Park.

Also, please forward the comment card to friends and family.

Hartford Iron and Metal currently operates in a residential neighborhood. Contaminated fugitive dust is descending on residents in the neighborhood where children play. This is against the law and needs to be addressed.

 

 

These are the results from tests conducted in April of this year.

Dust In The Wind Metals In Moss Health Implications
Dust In The Wind Metals In Moss Health Implications Of Heavy Metal Exposure

Map of the locations moss samples were taken.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 765-730-4168 or email us at blackfordcoconcernedcitizens[at]gmail[dot]com.

Help! This Is A Critical Time For Your Voice!

Fugitive Dust - Dust that moves over Hartford Iron's property line is a violation of state rules (326 IAC 6-4 and 6-5) On Saturday, October 21st, a meeting took place at City Hall. Very few residents attended the informative presentation by IPFW students.

The Mayor and Council Persons witnessed the low turnout causing them to believe no one cares about Hartford Iron and Metal. Blackford County Concerned Citizens is working to persuade government officials to act concerning the problems at Hartford Iron and Metal, but it is nearly impossible without support of the community.

We realize it was Fall break week and a nice day, so we have created an electronic opportunity for you to respond. This is your opportunity to ask city government to relocate Hartford Iron and Metal to the Industrial Park.

Spread the news far and wide! Here is what you can do:

We Need You! The Time To Act Is Now! Don’t Be Ignored!

 

Contact the officials on the list below and request that they attend the meeting on Saturday, November 18th:

     
Hartford City Mayor’s Office
Mayor Ben Hodgin [email protected] (765)348-0412
Arlene West, Administrative Assistant [email protected] (765)348-0412
     
Hartford City Mayor’s Office
Mayor Ben Hodgin [email protected] (765)348-0412
Arlene West, Administrative Assistant [email protected] (765)348-0412
     
Hartford City Council
Dennis Nottingham, District 1 [email protected] (765)348-5215
Dustin George, District II [email protected] (765)331-9232
Jimmy Lytle, District III [email protected] (765)730-0655
William Hess, District IV [email protected] (765)348-0549
Garry Monroe, At-Large [email protected] (765)348-6076
     
Police
Scott D. Mealy, Chief [email protected] (765)348-4819
     
Board Of Public Works And Safety
G. Andrew Glentzer [email protected] (765)348-5400
Cindy Gross [email protected] (765)348-4794
     
Hartford City Water Works
Ronald Thomas, Superintendent [email protected] (765)348-2230
     
Waste Water Treatment
Gregg Jones [email protected] (765)348-3855
     
Blackford County Economic Development
Colton Bickel, Exec. Dir. [email protected] (765)348-4944
     
Blackford County Health Department
John Lancaster, President [email protected] (765)348-1620
Donald Hunsberger, Chairman, BC Board of Health (765)348-4317 and (765)348-0300
     
Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Donald Snemis, General Counsel & Deputy Chief of Staff [email protected]
Paul Higginbotham, Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Water) [email protected]
Nancy Johnston [email protected]gov
Office of Air Quality, Compliance & Enforcement Branch (317)233-6865
David Zier, BC Air Compliance Inspector [email protected] (317)233-1136
     
Environmental Protection Agency
Rafael Gonzalez [email protected] (312)886-0269

Hartford Iron and Metal

Summary Of The Situation

Since 2006, Hartford Iron and Metal in Hartford City, Indiana, has been in violation for improper methods for containing harmful chemicals, including PCBs, from their industrial work.

In 2009 the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Hartford Iron and Metal agreed, in a Court Approved Consent Decree, to clean their site.

In 2011, and again in 2015, IDEM completed another inspection and found Hartford Iron and Metal was still in violation. Some methods of cleanup did occur, but none of them were substantial enough to actually make a difference.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has allowed Hartford Iron and Metal to continue business and to expand operations for eleven years after being originally cited for violations even though they are still not in compliance with the Court Order Decree of 2009.

It is time for real change for the citizens of Hartford City. Come join that change on November 18th at 10 a.m. The meeting will be located at City Hall, 700 N. Walnut St., Hartford City, IN.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 765-730-4168 or email us at blackfordcoconcernedcitizens[at]gmail[dot]com.

IDEM Continues to Drop the Ball in Hartford City

The <a href="http://www.in.gov/idem/">Indiana Department of Environmental Management</a> has allowed Hartford Iron and Metal to continue business and to expand operations for eleven years after being originally cited for violations even though they are still not in compliance with the Court Order Decree of 2009. Since 2006, Hartford Iron and Metal in Hartford City, Indiana, has been in violation for improper methods for containing harmful chemicals, including PCBs, from their industrial work.

In 2009 the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Hartford Iron and Metal agreed, in a Court Approved Consent Decree, to clean their site.

In 2011, and again in 2015, IDEM completed another inspection and found Hartford Iron and Metal was still in violation. Some methods of cleanup did occur, but none of them were substantial enough to actually make a difference.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has allowed Hartford Iron and Metal to continue business and to expand operations for eleven years after being originally cited for violations even though they are still not in compliance with the Court Order Decree of 2009.

It is time for real change for the citizens of Hartford City. Come join that change on October 21st and November 18th at 10 a.m. The meetings are located at City Hall, 700 N. Walnut St., Hartford City, IN.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 765-730-4168 or email us at blackfordcoconcernedcitizens[at]gmail[dot]com.

Report a Problem

Fugitive Dust - Dust that moves over Hartford Iron's property line is a violation of state rules (326 IAC 6-4 and 6-5)

Fugitive Dust – Dust that moves over Hartford Iron and Metal’s property line is a violation of state rules (326 IAC 6-4 and 6-5)

Storm Water – If it runs off of Hartford Iron and Metal untreated, it is a violation of their Agreed Order

Open Burning – Such that “air contaminants resulting from combustion are emitted directly into the air, without passing through a stack or chimney” is prohibited in Indiana except for campfires and certain agricultural maintenance (326 IAC 4)

 

1. Submit a Complaint On-Line: http://www.in.gov/idem/5275.htm
2. Call the Complaint Coordinator: (800) 451-6027 ext. 24464 or (317) 232-4464
3. Print, Complete, and Mail: a paper-based Complaint Submission Form from https://forms.in.gov/Download.aspx?id=5693

What You Can Do – Contact IDEM to Convene a Public Hearing

Here is the notice published by Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Please write IDEM. The more citizens IDEM hears from, the greater the likelihood they will convene a public hearing. Deadline for letters is June 12th.

Here is a sample letter you can use for writing your own response:

[Date – must be posted by June 12, 2017]
ATTN: Ms. Kerlann Bunch, Permit Manager
IDEM/OWQ/NPDES/PS
100 N. Senate Ave.
Mail Code 65/42PS
Room 1255
Indianapolis, IN 46204

[OR you can email written comments to [email protected])

Dear Ms. Kerlann Bunch, Permit Manager,

We are requesting that IDEM convene a Public Hearing with regards to Hartford Iron and Metal. There has been a significant amount of rain during the past several weeks with a substantial of water runoff not being captured by the existing system. There has been no demonstration of how the proposed system will be successful in treating the runoff water issue. Additionally, the proposed system amounts to an expansion of the existing facility.

Recent investigation and research indicates that fugitive dust contaminated by significant amounts of arsenic, lead, chromium, cadmium and nickel is being deposited on the surrounding landscape in the residential neighborhood – upwind as well as downwind from Hartford Iron and Metal. This suggests that the contaminated fugitive dust is not being carried by the wind, but is generated onsite by ongoing Hartford Iron and Metal activities. The contaminated dust is then washed during rainfall into the stormwater drainage system. This stormwater needs to be addressed as well as the stormwater coming directly off of the site.

Please notify us of your intention.
Thank you,
[your name]
[all requests must include your name, contact information, address, phone and email if you have one)]