Air, sludge issues debated in
Army Corps pushes less expensive monitoring method
By Jim Masters
Northwest Indiana Times
EAST CHICAGO -- The East Chicago Waterway Management District
Board of Directors discussed testing procedures involving
ambient air monitoring and dredging of sediments from
the Indiana Harbor and Shipping Canal at Tuesday's meeting.
Board members sparred with each other and U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers representative Bill White over whether the
proposed method for testing sediments dredged from the
canal were tough enough.
Board member Colleen Aguirre was joined by audience members
in asking the Corps of Engineers to consider a Level 1
testing, rather than Level 3, which is less comprehensive.
"People here are going to feel it's appropriate,"
White said a Level 3 testing of the sediment is in line
with the requirements of the Indiana Department of Environmental
Management and still an effective level of analysis. A
Level 1 testing would be much more expensive, he said.
Board member Don Koliboski, who lives near the Confined
Disposal Facility, said he was satisfied with Level 3
On the air monitoring front, the Corps of Engineers began
air monitoring in the vicinity of the CDF at the former
Energy Cooperative Inc. site in November 2001. Data has
been collected on the presence of polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile
organic compounds, particulate matter and metals.
The five monitoring stations will be reduced to two,
including one at Central High School, during the construction
phase and continue through interim periods. The monitoring
will operate on a six-day schedule.
As the dredging and disposal phase approaches, the Corps
of Engineers will develop a plan for air monitoring using
the data already collected. Each future construction contract
will include a separate monitoring plan.
The results of the data will be distributed to the community
in an annual report and on the Corps of Engineers' Web
In other announcements, the board is considering hiring
around-the-clock security for the ECI site.
The CDF's slurry wall is substantially complete, and
construction awards to remove pipe obstructions in the
canal are forthcoming.
A meeting is tentatively set for March 30 to discuss
purchase of the CSX Railroad spur easement, which runs
through the ECI site.