Citizens Energy Group is committed to ensuring that environmental contamination at the Indianapolis Coke Plant site is carefully identified and cleaned up. Current monitoring data from the plant site indicates it does not pose a threat to human health or the environment in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Citizens is currently working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on site remediation through the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP). The VRP is a structured program with established procedures for identifying contamination and a remediation plan for cleaning the plant site up to a level that will allow for commercial or light industrial development.
Prospect Site Plan
Prospect VRP Update
Frequently Asked Questions - Environmental
Q. Will there be any environmental impact from the demolition
A. No, we do not expect any impact on the environment. Steps will be taken to prevent erosion and stormwater runoff to nearby Pleasant Run Creek during demolition activities.
Q. Are there any hazardous materials being removed from the site?
A. Solid and hazardous wastes regulated by IDEM will be removed from the site in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations.
Q. There is a lot of asthma in the neighborhoods around the plant. Is the plant site contributing to poor air quality?
A. We do not believe the plant site is contributing to air quality problems in the neighborhood.
Q. What are we testing for during remediation?
A. Citizens’ investigation is focused on those constituents associated with manufactured gas plants, including organic compounds and metals.
Q. How do we intend to get rid of bad soil? Will the neighbors have a say in whether we remove or cap bad soil areas?
A. The remediation strategies are yet to be developed. The strategies will be protective of human health and the environment, and may involve removal of impacted soils. The VRP program has a public process for commenting on the Remediation Work Plans. Citizens intends to have public meetings and outreach prior to the IDEM official comment period, as well, allowing for the community to understand the plans.
Q. The neighbors want Citizens to test soils at their homes, not just on the plant site. They believe the plant fouled their soil and they worry about the safety of their vegetable gardens.
A. Citizens recommends that neighbors contact the Marion County Health Department for information on soil testing.
Q. Why is there water downstream of the plant but not at the railroad bridge over Prospect Street? When will Citizens clean up the creek? What could happen to the kids who are in the creek now?
A. Citizens is not diverting or taking water from Pleasant Run Creek. We believe Pleasant Run is a seasonally “low flow” stream and that other tributaries into Pleasant Run change the flow downstream of the plant. We are currently in an extreme drought which has dramatically reduced stream volumes through Central Indiana.
Q. Will we check for histoplasmosis in the air when we demolish buildings?
A. Citizens has inspected all of our buildings prior to demolition for asbestos and other hazardous materials including bird droppings (the source of spores that cause histoplasmosis). During these inspections, Citizens found no evidence of bird droppings that would cause a release of spores that cause histoplasmosis. Should we discover evidence of such bird droppings, they will be properly removed and disposed of prior to demolition.
Q. We need something developed that explains to us in language we can understand the toxins you are testing for; how remediation will work and what the dangers might be to the neighborhood.
A. Noted for remediation meeting
Q. Did Citizens do something that destroyed the Pleasant Run falls beneath the RR overhead bridge? We have pictures from just 3 years ago and the falls were beautiful. Something happened and all the stones, rocks and boulders are now a jumbled mess and there is no falls any more.
A. Citizens has not done anything to change the flow beneath the RR overhead bridge. Pleasant Run Creek receives a great deal of stormwater flow that results in a fast-moving stream during rain events. It is possible that stormwater changed the stones, rocks, and boulders.
Q. Do you intend to allow access to the creek (Pleasant Run)?
A. Unfortunately, we must restrict access to Pleasant Run Creek for safety reasons. Pleasant Run Creek is not a public waterway and access is generally restricted by the many private landowners along the creek. On the coke plant property, there are railroad crossings and plant equipment adjacent to the creek that could cause a danger to the public. Residents of the area should also remember that Pleasant Run Creek periodically receives combined sewer overflow discharges from locations outside of the coke plant property.
Q. Do you have any plans to clean up the coal dust residue from our neighborhoods?
A. Citizens is working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on a comprehensive environmental remediation plan for the Prospect site. We don't anticipate this plan will include cleaning up coal dust outside of the plant site.
Q. Will Citizens do any job training for remediation work at the main plant site?
A. Citizens will not be creating a job training program for remediation work at the plant site. However, the company is certainly open to others creating such programs to support remediation work throughout Marion County.