On Earth Day (April 22), students from IPFW from Dr. Steiner’s class, along with 10 students from Jabin Burnworth’s North Manchester High School class, gathered moss samples from selected trees surrounding Hartford Iron and Metal. Zachary Elick wrote a nice article about the event in the IPFW Communicator. Moss samples were collected and tested by a Certified Lab in Oregon experienced in testing moss samples. The sample testing results and analysis showed that there is a meaningful difference between the levels at the control site and the sites taken from the neighborhood surrounding Hartford Iron and Metal. Moss was tested for arsenic, lead, chromium, cadmium and nickel. Fifteen people indicated interest in forming a neighborhood association. Next Fall, students from IPFW want to work with the neighborhood association to put together an action plan to present to county officials later in the Fall. If you are interested in joining this group, send us an email and we will put you in contact with them.
Feel free to email us at blackfordcoconcernedcitizens[at]gmail[dot]com.
Eighteen Blackford County citizens attended a public information meeting November 7 at City Hall in Hartford City hosted by Blackford County Concerned Citizens. Indra Frank, Environmental Health Director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, gave a synopsis of the public record on Hartford Iron’s cleanup including what contaminants have been found there and what cleanup has occurred, so far. Kristen Belcredi, Senior Vice President of Engineering Services with Keramida, answered questions on Keramida’s plans to install a permanent storm water treatment system. The system will include a retention pond at the Chestnut Street property owned by Hartford Iron. The storm water from Hartford Iron will be collected there and then treated to remove contaminants before it is released into the storm sewer. Ms. Belcredi reported that there will be a fence around the pond. In answer to questions about mosquito control, she said that the water will be circulating which discourages mosquito breeding and they will use control measures, if needed. There ismore information on the cleanup here
If you see or hear explosions at Hartford Iron or see dust and soil from Hartford Iron spreading beyond their property line, please call the Complaint Coordinator for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management at (800) 451-6027 ext. 24464 or file a complaint electronically here.
Oil and gas drilling activities in Blackford County in the 1880s and 1890s left behind more than 1400 abandoned wells. Those wells can act as conduits of groundwater pollutants. Read more here.
Hartford Iron and Metal in Hartford City is a heavily contaminated site currently undergoing cleanup mandated by state and federal agencies. Blackford County Concerned Citizens is concerned that the contamination could have health implications for the community, so we are keeping a close eye on the cleanup. To read what we know about the contamination, the cleanup to date, and the cleanup steps that should start soon – Click here.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into houses from some types of soil. Elevated levels in a home increase the risk of lung cancer. A limited number of discounted tests are available for Blackford County. If you are interested, contact Indra at [email protected]. Kits are also available for $15 each by calling the radon info hotline 1-800-272-9723. Additional information is available at www.HealthHouse.org.
Blackford County Concerned Citizens, in partnership with the Hoosier Environmental Council, has tested soil at Southside Elementary, the Babe Ruth baseball field in Hartford City, and Montpelier’s Little League fields for heavy metals that might have been left behind by glass factories decades ago.
All of the soil samples from Montpelier and Southside Elementary School had the same levels of arsenic and lead as soil generally does in this part of Indiana. A few deposits of arsenic and lead were found at Hartford City’s baseball field, high enough to exceed Indiana’s residential standard, but well within the standard for recreational fields.
While the arsenic and lead levels found are within state recreational field standards, they are high enough that it’s worth exercising caution when you are at Hartford City’s baseball fields. BCCC recommends parents do a few simple things to limit exposure to the soil:
- Don’t let children get the soil in their mouths
- After spending time there, wash your hands and children’s hands
- Wash clothes that have soil on them (like baseball uniforms)
- Leave shoes that have been to the site at the door, don’t wear them into your home
See full details of the soil testing here.
In The Star Press yesterday there was an article that discussed the disturbing medical mystery in Blackford County that the rates for Cancer and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS) were higher than than any other county in the state. Leah Aubrey was quoted about these statistics and the death of her father from cancer.
The article is here:
There also is an older article that was posted to the Blackford County Concerned Citizens Facebook page which discusses a case against 3M for illegal dumping in Minnesota.
The article is here: