June 15, 2022 — The City of South Bend announced today that it will hold a public information session to introduce the contractor selected and the timeline for the remediation work at the Lasalle Park/Beck’s Lake site. The public information session will be held on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at 6 p.m. at the Charles Black Community Center, 3419 West Washington Street. A live stream of the meeting can be viewed at facebook.com/cityofsouthbend/live.
The contract for the remediation work was awarded at the June 14th Board of Public Works meeting to HRP Construction, Inc. The work will take place during the summer of 2022.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), City of South Bend, and Honeywell International Inc., entered into an agreement to remediate areas within LaSalle Park with high levels of lead after extensive sampling by the City and Honeywell. Soil samples identified subsurface lead at the site, which will be the focus of the remediation efforts. Lead does not easily migrate to other underground areas. These samples found no other environmental contaminants that need to be remediated.
The Work Plan calls for removal of topsoil and subsoil to be replaced with new, clean soil in certain areas of LaSalle Park’s open ground area. Similar soil removal and replacement will occur in two nearby non-City owned properties. EPA’s approval of the Work Plan is incorporated into a Consent Agreement in which City and Honeywell agree to perform the work detailed in the Work Plan. In the Consent Agreement, neither the City nor Honeywell admit any liability for the past contamination.
Testing and Remediation Details
Comprehensive soil samplings of the park disclosed that only lead exists in levels exceeding EPA guidelines. The most recent tests of LaSalle Park soil identified a few samples (9 out of 234 samples, or under 4%) within six inches of the surface in which lead exceeded guidelines. There were a limited set of samples from between six inches and one foot deep (14 of 234, or under 6%) in which lead exceeded EPA guidelines.
Under the EPA-approved Work Plan, areas where lead was detected from six inches to one foot of the surface above the EPA guidelines will be capped with one foot of clean, fresh soil. In three discrete areas where lead was detected closer to the surface (within six inches), twelve inches of soil will be removed, replaced with clean soil, and then capped with another foot of clean soil. All the remediated areas will be graded and re-seeded. The Work Plan also includes similar work to replace soil at two properties near the park where tests also found lead in subsurface soils above current EPA Guidelines.
This EPA-approved Work Plan is consistent with EPA’s approach to address lead in soils at other sites. Strict protocols will be followed to make sure the soil replacement process will not expose persons in or near the park to lead risks.