East Chicago, Indiana – Refinery Clean Up

Lead Project Engineer, ARCO Products Co., Los Angeles, CA                 1995 1997

800px-Indiana_HarborI directed the initial investigation of contamination and conditions at this site.  Previously, the site had transferred from ARCO ownership to the ECI corporation.  Five years later ECI filed bankruptcy and ARCO was pulled back into the site clean up as a responsible party.

When I began my work at the site, free product was seeping into the adjacent water way.  The site was being managed by the bankruptcy court.  I worked with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the City of East Chicago and the Army Corp to install a shore length free product removal system and worked to prepare the site for a Confined Disposal Facility that would hold contaminated dredge material from the adjacent Indiana Harbor Canal.

Additionally, companies along the canal were named a potential responsible parties in the costs for sediment clean up and natural resource damage.  During my involvement in the project, I represented ARCO in the twenty- six party allocation and clean-up efforts.


Refinery in the late 1800s

Refinery in the late 1800s

ECI tank

More Site History and Current Status

Former owners of the project site include Sinclair from 1918 to 1968, Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) from 1968 to 1976, and ECI from 1976 to 1981. In 1981, ECI filed for bankruptcy. In the late 1980s, all buildings and above ground structures were razed by the bankruptcy’s special master.

In 1989, the city of East Chicago became the owner of the ECI site as payment for back taxes owed by ECI. In assuming ownership without approved environmental corrective and closure actions in place, the City of East Chicago also assumed liability for the site. In 1994, the property was transferred to the East Chicago Waterway Management District (ECWMD), which serves as the local cost-share sponsor with USACE in the construction of a Confined Disposal Facility to house contaminated dredge material.

Link to Confined Disposal Facility information sheet.

Great Lakes Confined Disposal Facilities April 2003io0.