The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

March 20, 2013

Existence of landfills worries reservoir skeptics

Sparks: Eight firms have looked at data

ANDERSON, Ind. — When people ask about landfills under Mounds Mall and the shopping center across Scatterfield Road, Rob Sparks is right there with them.

Environmental impact was the second question raised as serious consideration of Mounds Lake Reservoir began taking shape.

“The public is going through the same questioning we went through,” said Sparks, executive director of the Anderson/Madison County Corporation for Economic Development.

The landfill question has been a key issue fueling public skepticism about a proposed reservoir on social media sites, along with concern about businesses and homeowners being displaced.

The proposed reservoir would begin just east of East Lynn and 18th streets in Anderson, backing water up seven miles into Delaware County to around County Road 300 South and South High Banks Road.

Phase I environmental assessments show the landfill sites are small — amounting to perhaps six or seven acres — and consist primarily of construction debris. “I’ve had eight different firms look at the data,” and none have said those sites represent a fatal flaw, Sparks said.

In addition, test wells installed to monitor groundwater quality at former General Motors Corp. sites on Scatterfield Road upstream from the proposed reservoir haven’t revealed any significant problems with pollution.

Although monitoring stopped when GM declared bankruptcy in June 2009, it was reactivated last year under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Grant to the city of Anderson.

Well samples were evaluated by a firm hired by the EPA, which only knew the information would be used for redevelopment, but not specifically creation of a reservoir, Sparks said.

The city is currently pursuing a second EPA grant to continue more detailed environmental evaluation and monitoring.

Chad Pigg, president and CEO of Sesco Group, and former brownfield coordinator for Anderson, is consulting on the project.

He said more than 700 acres of the proposed 2,100 acres that would become the reservoir was evaluated in the initial study.

Despite Anderson’s automobile manufacturing legacy and the number of brownfield industrial sites, only a small percentage of locations evaluated meet criteria that warrant further investigation in a more thorough phase II feasibility study. Pigg and Sparks said nothing will be taken for granted.

Pigg said some gaps exist in the environmental data that has been collected so far that he wants to see filled.

And Sparks said he wants to see monitor well test results from three or four seasons.

He added, however, that if the landfills were as toxic and polluted as some people fear, evidence of that environmental hazard would have surfaced long before now.

Yet it hasn’t.

That said, Sparks said if the reservoir proposal moves ahead, any mitigation required by state and federal officials as part of a permitting process would be subject to public scrutiny and comment.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • news_indfloods.jpg County escapes major storm damage

    Despite strong winds and heavy storms Thursday night, Madison County property escaped relatively unscathed. While downed tree limbs and power lines led to a power outage for about 2,000 residences in Anderson, there were no reports of structure damage in the county.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS -  HB0823 - Fire-Rozelle Johnson - JC 28a.jpg Lightning might have caused Anderson funeral home fire

    A lightning strike is suspected of starting a fire at Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Services, Ind. 32 and Rangeline Road, early Friday morning.

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Teen arrested in alleged robbery, battery of teen girl A teen faces felony charges after allegedly luring and driving another girl out to a county road, robbing the girl at knifepoint and leaving the girl out on the road at night.

    August 22, 2014

  • ACS incumbents facing election challenge Most incumbents seeking re-election to various school boards in Madison County will be facing challengers in the November 4 general election.

    August 22, 2014

  • Reservoir could be 'needed shot in the arm'

    The proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir is being described as the needed shot in the arm that would put Anderson back on the map.

    August 23, 2014

  • SWAT Challenge to move to Camp Atterbury The 13th Annual Indiana SWAT Challenge will again be hosted by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, but this year will move to a larger venue.

    August 22, 2014

  • VanNess, William mug Local Briefs: Aug. 23 A compilation of news items of local and statewide interest as published in the Saturday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coats: Obamacare won't be repealed U.S. Sen. Dan Coats said the Affordable Care Act will not be repealed and that Congress needs to focus on many modifications to the law affecting health care in America.

    August 22, 2014

  • Anderson cop Richardson loses rank Seven months after Anderson Police officer Bill Richardson was arrested in January but not criminally charged, the department has disciplined the officer.

    August 22, 2014

  • Local Briefs: Aug. 22

    A compilation of news items of local and state interest as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 22, 2014

August Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook