EPA, Indiana test land along Wabash River for hazardous waste

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Environmental crews are preparing to test soil at a former western Indiana scrap yard for hazardous wastes possibly left behind at the site.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin taking soil samples next week at the 39-acre site on the Wabash River's east banks near Terre Haute.

City engineer Chuck Ennis tells the Tribune-Star that city officials' concerns focus on several 55-gallon drums with unknown contents found on the land, which was given last year to the city by Sugar Creek Scrap.

EPA on-scene coordinator Sherry Lam says the agency will test for a variety of chemicals, including PCBs, toxic metals and volatile organic compounds

City planner Pat Martin says the EPA is paying for the testing and results should be ready within two months.

A report released in 2012 found that Indiana tops the nation in water pollution. The report by Washington, D.C.-based Environment America found Hoosier industries dumped more than 27 million pounds of pollutants into the state's rivers and streams in 2010. It also says AK Steel's Rockport mill alone discharged 24 million pounds of pollution into the Ohio River.

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