Residential Soil Cleanup Resumes this Spring

Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination Site

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will resume soil cleanup of lead and arsenic contamination in Evansville this spring. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue its role as the engineering firm managing day-to-day cleanup activities.

Open House

EPA representatives will be available to talk to you and answer your questions about cleanup and sampling activities at an open house at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library in the Browning Event Room A.
Date: May 18, 2022
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library
Browning Event Room A
200 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Evansville, IN

In the 2022 construction season, the cleanup will primarily take place in neighborhoods southeast of downtown Evansville, such as Riverside, Culver, Bellemeade Bayard Park, Tepe Park, Glenwood, Akin Park, and Goosetown.

All work will be done during regular business hours to minimize the inconvenience caused to neighbors. The contractors will take precautions to ensure no dust is generated while the work is done or during transportation of excavated soil. As appropriate to current situations, local COVID-19 safety guidelines and ordinances will be observed.

A property after the new sod was laid and mulch was placed in 2020.
Figure 1: A property after the new sod was laid and mulch was placed in 2020.

Residential soil cleanup process

EPA and its contractors strive to work closely with property owners to ensure they know what to expect during the cleanup and ultimately to ensure they are satisfied with the way their property looks after it has been restored. If you would like an estimate of when your property will be cleaned up, please contact Mary Myrick from Tetratech, contact information below.

The soil cleanup process generally goes as follows:

  • Meeting with property owner to go over the specifics of the cleanup.
  • Excavation of contaminated soil according to cleanup designs.
  • Back fill with clean soil and placing a layer of topsoil.
  • Restoration of lawn areas, including vegetation and landscaping items.
  • Maintenance period of 30 to 60 days for restored grass and plants.
  • Closeout meeting with owner to ensure the cleanup and restoration work was done to the owner’s satisfaction.
  • EPA issues a letter of cleanup completion to the property owner.

Contact Information

For more information about the cleanup, please contact:

For general questions:
Charles Rodriguez
Community Involvement Coordinator

For property cleanup schedule:
Mary Myrick (TetraTech, Inc.)
Property Assessment Coordinator

For questions about soil cleanup:
Jena Sleboda
Remedial Project Manager

For soil sampling questions:
Mary Tierney
Remedial Project Manager

Call EPA toll-free at 800-621-8431, 8:00am -4:30pm, weekdays or visit:

Soil sampling

Soil sampling will resume in Spring. If you have questions regarding soil sampling or would like to sign up for soil sampling, please contact Mary Tierney at the number or email address provided in the contact section.

Progress to date

EPA began residential cleanups in the Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination Superfund Site in 2010, with the first phase completed in 2012. Here are some cleanup numbers to date:

  • More than 6,000 properties sampled to date.
  • Around 3,750 properties cleaned up to date.
  • 500-1000 properties will be sampled in 2022.
  • Around 250 properties will be cleaned up in 2022.
A property after excavation was completed the beginning of October 2020, showing a landscaped area where EPA dug around the plants.
Figure 2: A property after excavation was completed the beginning of October 2020, showing a landscaped area where EPA dug around the plants.

About the Jacobsville Superfund site

It is believed that airborne dust, soot, and smoke from historic industrial operations deposited lead on residential soil over a wide area in Evansville. Arsenic may have been deposited by airborne dust from foundries, the burning of coal and from other industrial processes. Because these companies have long been out of business, EPA and Indiana Department of Environmental Management are paying for the cleanup.

Figure 3: Same property as above after back fill and sod were added a few weeks later in October 2020. EPA replaced the pre-construction mulch.

The Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination site was placed on the National Priorities List, or NPL, in 2004. The NPL is a roster of the nation’s most hazardous waste sites that are eligible for cleanup under EPA’s Superfund program. EPA has done several rounds of soil testing to determine the boundaries of the contamination.

The initial cleanup area known as Operable Unit 1, or OU1, was cleaned up from 2009 to 2012. Later studies by EPA showed the lead and arsenic contamination covered a large area, now referred to as OU2. OU2 covers about 4.5 square miles and includes about 8,500 residential properties. EPA estimates about 4,500 of these 8,500 properties will require cleanup.

Blood lead testing

The Vanderburgh County Health Department offers testing to children at no cost. To schedule a test, call the Vanderburgh County Health Department at 812-435-5568. The Health Department is located on the 2nd floor at 420 Mulberry St.

Cleanup of OU2 properties began in 2012 and will continue for approximately four more years. The general boundaries of OU2 are Morgan Avenue to the north, U.S. 41 to the east, Pigeon Creek and the Ohio River to the west, and East Riverside Drive to the south. EPA is only cleaning up residential properties and properties such as day cares and schools that are used frequently by the public.