Flexsteel Industries Inc. has agreed to a consent decree requiring it to pay $9.8 million to clean up contamination at the Lane Street Superfund site in Elkhart, Indiana, and to reimburse the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) for a portion of its past costs incurred at the Lane Street location.
According to the complaint filed at the same time as the proposed consent decree in the Northern District of Indiana, Flexsteel is responsible for the cleanup because its previous manufacturing operations contributed to the contamination at the Lane Street site. Earlier, EPA entered into administrative settlements with two other potentially responsible parties for their alleged contribution to contamination at the Lane Street site.
“This settlement ensures that the responsible party, not taxpayers, funds the Superfund cleanup of the Lane Street groundwater contamination,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The cleanup funded by this agreement protects the environment and the health of the surrounding community.”
“This is an excellent settlement that funds the necessary cleanup of a contaminated groundwater plume in Elkhart, Indiana,” said U.S. Attorney Clifford Johnson for the Northern District of Indiana. “This cleanup will protect the drinking water and health of Elkhart residents.”
“Groundwater is a source of drinking water for wells and public water systems, and it also flows into surface rivers and streams,” said EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore. “Through this settlement and others like it, EPA is taking action to protect the health of communities and the environment by holding polluters responsible for contaminating groundwater.”
“Indiana is proud to work with our federal partners and industries across our state to ensure the health of Hoosiers and our environment are protected,” said Commissioner Brian Rockensues of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. “This settlement is great news for Elkhart residents and will help ensure long-term water contamination is cleaned up.”
The Lane Street site consists of approximately 65 acres of residential and light industrial properties in Elkhart, Indiana, affected by a plume of groundwater contaminated primarily with solvents and degreasers such as trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene. In 2016, the EPA issued its record of decision for the Lane Street site that selected a remedy to treat the groundwater by breaking down the contamination into harmless compounds. The proposed consent decree funds the implementation of the selected remedy.
The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public review period and final court approval and will be available for public review on the Department of Justice’s website at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
More information about the site is available at the Lane Street Contamination Ground Water Contamination website (https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0510229).