In Fall of 2019, we asked residents to write letters to the Governor and the Commissioner of Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to use the equipment at their disposal to do further testing of the air around HI&M. A total of 17 letters were sent to Governor Holcomb and Commissioner Pigott. The Commissioner at the Department of Environmental Management, Bruno L. Pigott, responded. The Office of Air Quality monitored the ambient air over a four-month period last summer using two intermittent samplers and a temporary weather station that were installed downwind from the facility (see photos):
Although the equipment was fairly close to the fence, it was a significant distance from the crushing area where the activity takes place which stirs up dust and fumes that are of concern (see map below).
The Office of Air Quality conducted a special monitoring study from May 2020 through August 2020. The IDEM Study identified concentrations of heavy metal pollutants and chromium VI in the air and compared them to benchmark levels for assessing the health risk posed by chemical exposure. The concentration levels did not exceed the 24-hour benchmarks identified in the sources that they used, and concentrations were consistent with other values collected across Indiana in a variety of monitoring programs. Although HI&M is releasing pollutants into the air, they are operating within their legally acceptable limits. The IDEM Report concluded that “the concentrations of the metals collected during the study are very low and do not rise to levels of concern.” The complete IDEM study of HI&M can be found here.
by Eric Evans