LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI)- NIPSCO is doing its part to help clean up former sites of manufactured gas plants A project to clean up an old site in Logansport began this week.
"Manufactured gas plants were used in the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s in most communities in the US as a fuel source to provide heating, lighting, and cooking for communities," said Karen Mclean the Public Affairs Manager for NIPSCO.
With natural gas becoming available, and how gas is stored changing, manufactured gas plants began to close, but some left behind pollutants that are bad for the environment. This site in Logansport is one of them.
"There is environmental residue here, the coal tar it is a byproduct of a manufactured gas plant. It's a lot like roofing materials or the asphalt we use in roadways," added Mclean.
This cleanup project will get rid of those by-products that could potentially be harmful to groundwater.
"We are going to dig the soil up replace it with filled soil and then completely re-asphalt the entire area,” added Mclean.
While there are traces of coal tar in the soil it's not something that is hazardous to the public since it's underground.
"Where we have impacts to the soil is probably at 12 feet, and no one is going to be exposed to that soil,"Syndey Walmer-Rice the project manager of the Logansport project.
People who live in Logansport can expect a few changes while the project is taking place.
"People in the area might notice dust or an occasional odor of mothballs or tar but this is completely normal," added Mclean.
However, the site is completely safe for the public.
"It's a safe site as far as exposure to the public and to the environment but are going to make it even better,” added Walmer-Rice.
The location of the former gas plant is on E. Erie Avenue, between S. 5th Street and Elm Street. The air quality will be monitored to ensure the safety of the public and workers during the project. The clean-up is expected to wrap up in September.