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Conrail Rail Yard Site

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Janet Pope (pope.janet@epa.gov)
312-353-0628 or 800-621-8431, ext.30628

Remedial Project Manager
Timothy Drexler (drexler.timothy@epa.gov)
312-353-4367 or 800-621-8431, ext. 34367


(where to view written records)

Elkhart Public Library Reference Desk
300 S. Second Street
Elkhart, IN


See NPL Factsheet

Public Meeting
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 6:30 p.m.
Elkhart Public Library - Room 406
300 S. Second Street

Site Updates | Fact Sheets | Technical Documents | Five-Year Reviews || Public Meetings

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Site Updates

June 2014

EPA, in consultation with IDEM, has completed its fourth Five-Year Review (FYR) at the Conrail Rail Yard (Conrail) Superfund site. The purpose of this FYR is to review site information to determine if the remedy is and will continue to be protective of human health and the environment.

Fourth 5 Year Review (PDF) (202 pp, 12 MB)

In 2004, the Settling PRPs commenced a pilot test of the groundwater pump and treat components of the final remedy, installing three ground water extraction wells and a treatment plant at the rail yard and one ground water circulating well (GCW) at the drag strip.  In 2009, EPA determined that the rail yard extraction system did not achieve complete containment of the dissolved contaminant plume at the rail yard and its two DNAPL source zones. The Settling PRPs then installed two additional extraction wells in 2012. Subsequent evaluations of the rail yard extraction system have shown that the expanded system achieves full hydraulic capture at times, but will need evaluation and well-to-well groundwater pumping rate adjustments to achieve containment at all times.

EPA has also concluded that the existing GCW well does not adequately treat contaminated groundwater at the drag strip and the upgradient rail yard plume that commingles with the drag strip has not yet been stabilized. EPA will require that additional groundwater remedial actions be taken to address these issues. The Settling Potentially Responsible Parties have proposed a plan for further cleanup of the drag strip area that EPA and IDEM have conditionally approved.

EPA concluded that the potential for human exposure to contaminated groundwater is being addressed by the provision of municipal water, continued groundwater and indoor air monitoring, and installation of residential vapor mitigation units as needed. Institutional controls (ICs) have not been fully implemented. In 1997, Conrail, then owner of the rail yard, recorded a notice of the groundwater contamination with the county recorder. The Settling PRPs are currently preparing a Restrictive Covenant and Easement (RCE) for the rail yard. To-date, the owner of the drag strip has refused to sign an RCE for that property.

EPA has determined that the remedy at the Conrail site is protective of human health and the environment in the short-term. Exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are currently being controlled by the provision of municipal water and by operating remedial components plus groundwater and air monitoring. In order for the site-wide remedy to be protective over the long-term, EPA requires that the drag strip remedy be completed, pumping rates be adjusted at the rail yard to achieve groundwater containment, and all remaining ICs be implemented, including land-use restrictions that prohibit interference with the remedial components at the rail yard and drag strip and future groundwater-use restrictions.
Because hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remain in place at the Conrail site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure (UU/UE), EPA plans to conduct a fifth FYR at the site within five years of the completion of this FYR report.

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