INDIANA - White River Fish Disposal Has Cost State $280,000 : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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29 March 2000

Associated Press

ANDERSON, Ind. -- The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has spent $281,437 disposing of fish killed by the chemical contamination of the White River, the agency reported.

A preliminary cost estimate from IDEM shows it has paid the money to three companies for removing more than 88 tons of dead fish along a 35-mile stretch of the river from Anderson to Indianapolis.

"These are only the partial payments made by the agency," IDEM spokesman Russ Grunden said. "We are still receiving bills from the companies involved in the cleanup efforts."

The pollution is believed to have killed more than 115 tons of fish.

The contamination of the river was first reported on Dec. 19 when a chemical is believed to have been discharged from the Guide Corp. auto parts factory in Anderson into the Anderson sewer system and eventually to the White River.

Guide Corp. believes it is not responsible for the pollution, and it has petitioned IDEM to resume discharging its waste water to the Anderson sewers.

State and federal authorities still are investigating the source of the fish kill.

IDEM is shifting funds from other accounts to pay for costs related to the fish kill, Grunden said. Fines or other financial penalties resulting from the state's investigation of the matter may cover some of the costs, he said.

Another state agency investigating the fish kill, the Department of Natural Resources, is still gathering information on how much it has spent on the fish kill, spokesman Steve Sellers said.

Guide on Monday asked the Office of Environmental Adjudication, an administrative court that hears appeals of state orders, for permission to discharged 300,000 gallons of metal-plating waste water into the Anderson city sewers.

It said the state has not proven Guide was responsible for the contamination that killed the fish.

Guide and IDEM agreed a plan for disposing of remaining wastes will be submitted for review within 90 days.

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