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Armstrong Bloomfield Neighborhood Site

Site Information

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  • Kokomo, Indiana (Howard County)
  • EPA ID# INN000510615
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Teresa Jones (jones.teresa@epa.gov)
312-886-0725 or 800-621-8431, ext. 60725

On-Scene Coordinator
Anita Boseman (boseman.anita@epa.gov)
312-886-6941

On-Scene Coordinator
Jacob Hassan (hassan.jacob@epa.gov)
312-886-6864

Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Jessica Fliss (jfliss@idem.in.gov)
317-233-2823

ATSDR
Mark Johnson
(mdjohnson@cdc.gov)
312-886-0840 or 800-621-8431 ext. 60840

Repositories

(where to view written records)

Kokomo/Howard County Public Library
Genealogy & Local History
220 North Union Street
Kokomo , IN 46901-4614

Background

The Armstrong Bloomfield Neighborhood site is a residential area surrounded by the Continental Steel Plant Superfund site, Haynes Corporation and Stite's Cleaners. EPA determined based on ground water monitoring that the water under the homes in the area has the potential to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds. VOCs include many common solvents that readily evaporate and give off gases or vapors that can move through soil and get inside a home.

The Continental Steel Plant manufactured steel and used the Markland Avenue Quarry, located in the residential area, to dispose of hazardous materials. Cleanup activities at the quarry included pumping contaminated water from the quarry and treating the water off site, removing contaminated sediment from the quarry and adding clean fill and a clay cap over the quarry. The quarry cleanup stopped the source of contaminated ground water, however, the contamination moved off site and traveled northwest underneath surrounding residences. The area includes homes north of West Harrison Street to West Park Avenue and west of South Brandon Street to South Lindsay Street. The source that is contributing to the residential ground water and soil contamination has not been determined.

Site Updates || Fact Sheets |


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Site Updates

March 2014

In June 2013, EPA and its contractors tested indoor air at residential properties for an environmental problem known as "vapor intrusion." Indoor air samples were collected to determine if VOCs are present and at what levels. EPA explained that a “mitigation” system could be installed if vapor intrusion problems were detected in the homes at no cost to the owner or occupant of the property.

EPA also held a public meeting at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. The EPA provided residents updated information on the testing and planned next steps. During the meeting, EPA explained the need to collect signed access agreements which only allows EPA to enter properties and obtain samples. Residents were informed that EPA does not purchase properties that are part of removal actions.

June 2013

Starting June 24, EPA and its contractors will test indoor air at residential properties for vapor intrusion. Indoor air samples will be collected to determine if VOCs are present and at what levels. If there is a vapor intrusion problem, vapors can be removed by installing a mitigation system that would vent the vapors to the outside of the home. This system would be installed at no cost to the owner or occupant of the property.

While we are sampling, EPA will continue to obtain access agreements from property owners in the area for future sampling of soil, soil gas, groundwater and indoor air. Signing access agreements only allows EPA to enter the property and obtain samples. EPA does not purchase properties that are part of removal actions like we are conducting at the Armstrong Bloomfield Neighborhood PCE Site.

March 2013

November 2012, EPA collected soil, soil gas and groundwater samples from some residents in the Armstrong/Bloomfield Neighborhood. The test results show the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), however, the levels of VOCs present do not require any cleanup actions to be taken at this time.

Starting March 18, EPA and its contractors will test indoor air at residential properties for vapor intrusion. Indoor air samples will be collected to determine if VOCs are present and the levels. If there is a vapor intrusion problem, vapors can be removed by installing a mitigation system that would vent vapors outside the home.

During this time, EPA will continue to obtain access agreements from property owners in the area for future sampling of soil, soil gas, groundwater and indoor air.

November 2012

EPA and its contractors will collect samples from residential properties to test for contamination in the soil and ground water. Sampling will start on November 7 and during that time EPA will continue to obtain access agreements from property owners in the area of the sampling.

August 2012

Stite’s Cleaners, 519 W. Park Ave., Kokomo, IN, has been in operation since 1958. The site is a family-owned business, located near the downtown area and provides dry cleaning services. In 2010, concerns of tetrachloroethylene use arose. Tetrachloroethylene is also known as perchloroethylene (PCE). PCE is a chlorinated solvent, and this chemical is commonly used in the dry-cleaning industry. Exposure typically occurs by drinking contaminated water. PCE usually gets into drinking water aquifers when it is improperly disposed of, and is able to seep into groundwater. PCE can also be inhaled. This chemical is a VOC.  

In addition, unsafe dumping of PCE has resulted in significant soil contamination. Additional soil samples were taken in December 2011 at the site, and it appears that PCE contaminants are concentrated in the area immediately beneath the Site building, near the existing dry cleaning machines.
 
Because some residences also showed higher levels of contamination, EPA will be testing in the area to find out if historic dumping has traveled off site resulting in vapor intrusion at neighboring properties. The next step would be to take vapor samples from soil under a home's foundation. If there is a vapor intrusion problem, vapors can be removed by installing a mitigation system that would vent vapors outside the home.

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