The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed adding a Goshen site contaminated with chlorinated solvents to a list of the nation’s most polluted sites.
The EPA is proposing to add the North 5th Street Groundwater Contamination site, along with 12 sites in other states, to the National Priorities List.
The 2.4-acre site, which includes four municipal wells that supply drinking water to Goshen, is contaminated with cis-1,2-dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride, two chlorinated solvents.
The contamination affected the city’s raw water, the untreated water that makes its way to the city’s water treatment plant. After it is treated, the water is tested and distributed. Goshen officials said the finished drinking water provided to residents and businesses met all federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards.
The solvents were first detected in trace amounts in 1993, but the Indiana Department of Environmental Management found increased amounts in 2016.
The city of Goshen asked IDEM to pursue Superfund listing for cleanup assistance in October 2017.
The agency investigated, finding more solvents and identifying 67 commercial and industrial facilities within one mile of the site that could be the possible sources of the contamination. Ultimately, IDEM was unable to identify a definitive source of the contamination.
In March 2020, IDEM asked the EPA to add the site to the National Priorities List, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. The agency said the site would require a long-term response.
The EPA will soon open up public comments on the proposed addition of the site to the National Priorities List.