IDEM to reassess former American Lead facility in Indianapolis

January 18, 2023

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management said it would assess soil for lead contamination along residential streets near a former lead reclamation facility in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood of Indianapolis.

IDEM said it would field test soils along public rights-of-way at previously unsampled areas near the American Lead Superfund site at 2102 Hillside Ave.

The site was used for industrial purposes since the late 1800s. Between 1946 and 1965, the facility was used to conduct secondary lead smelting, the process of melting down scrap metal for lead and lead alloys, which contaminated the surrounding community with lead.

IDEM Map of American Lead Environmental Advisory Area

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discovered contamination at the American Lead site in 1981 and undertook several assessments of the site and residential properties near the site in the 20 years following the discovery.

Blood lead testing of residents living near the facility revealed hundreds of people with elevated blood lead levels, including 129 people with highly elevated blood lead levels.

The EPA undertook cleanups in 2005, 2007 and 2016, but, according to IDEM, not every property within what was called the American Lead Environmental Advisory Area was remediated either because the property owner did not grant access, the property was outside the investigation boundaries or due to several other reasons.

To determine whether your property is eligible for testing, contact IDEM at

IDEM to reassess former American Lead facility in Indianapolis