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Prestolite Battery Division 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
Lolita Hill
312-353-1621 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31621


(where to view written records)

Knox County Public Library
502 N. 7th Street.
Vincennes, IN


The Prestolite Battery site is located in Knox County, Vincennes, Indiana. The Prestolite Battery facility, which occupies approximately 18 acres, operated from 1945 to 1985. In the course of plant operations, lead-containing sludges and waste water were discharged to an onsite sewer system. Leaks and sewer backups resulted in contamination of soils and some sewer lines. Lead dust was also released from the plants ventilation system, contaminating surface soils in the vicinity. Further, accidental spills of process materials added to the onsite soil contamination. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) Remedial Investigation (RI) found lead soil concentrations as high as 405,000 ppm. and low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in groundwater samples, collected from onsite monitoring wells and from an offsite residential well. The groundwater plume was fully defined and characterized during the RI and contamination was found to be confined to the shallow aquifer.

Site Updates | Latest Update || Technical Documents || Five-Year Reviews ||

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Site Updates

Latest Update

In spring 1993, Allied-Signal began a removal action which lasted approximately one year and resulted in the removal of approximately 13,000 cubic yards of lead contaminated soil from the site and adjacent properties. In addition, surrounding residential wells were closed and residents were hooked up to the municipal water supply. A Record of Decision was signed in August, 1994, which allows natural attenuation to reduce the contaminant concentrations in the groundwater to established cleanup levels. Deed restrictions will prohibit any future wells from being drilled into the contaminated shallow groundwater. In addition, an extensive monitoring system will be installed to evaluate progress of groundwater natural attentuation and to identify any changing conditions in the nearby wetlands should they occur as a result of no active remediation. The installation of this monitoring system involves replacement of monitoring wells, and this activity was negotiated under a Consent Decree that was entered August 8, 1997. Installation of the monitoring well system was completed in October 1998. 

In November, 1996, U.S. EPA secured a Prospective Purchaser Agreement with a Vincennes area developer to begin razing the existing onsite building and to redevelop the property to productive land use. The redevelopment efforts are currently underway.  A five-year review report was completed in September 2001.  The review found that a final protectiveness statement could not be made until several issues are further investigated.  Sampling of fish and crayfish in the Northwest Pond adjacent to the site is being performed to determine if there are any human health or ecological risks.  Also, further investigation was performed on an auto garage property adjacent to the site concluding that cleanup would be necessary on that property.  These issues were addressed in the second five-year review report which was completed in September, 2006.
Property Reuse

A Prospective Purchaser Agreement was signed by EPA and a local developer to facilitate redevelopment of the site.  A Lowe's Hardware superstore and two restaurants have been built on the site.  These businesses supply over 200 jobs and create about $230,000 in increased tax revenue for the county alone.

Technical Documents

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Five-Year Reviews

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