2019 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2019 11:13:23 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] TCE's Toxic Legacy in Franklin, Indiana
After Children Began Getting Sick by the Dozens, Parents Took a Hard Look at Their Town’s Toxic Legacy
The carcinogen TCE has been lurking in the ground beneath Franklin, Indiana, for decades. Now families are demanding answers.

by Susan Cosier 
NRDC OnEarth
May 30, 2019 

Thirteen-year-old Emma Grace Findley was having a routine eye exam in 2014 when her doctor saw that her optic disc was swollen, an indication of brain swelling. Her father immediately called Emma’s mom, Kari Rhinehart, who was working her nursing shift at a nearby hospital’s emergency room. He asked his ex-wife if she had ever heard of papilledema, the term the eye doctor had used.


Three possible culprits emerged in Franklin-Webb Wellfield (a former oil field), Camp Atterbury (a military base), and the former Amphenol Corporation site (a plant that manufactured electrical parts). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had investigated both the oil field and the military base, but the documents showed that the agency had never resolved its concerns about ground pollution on the manufacturing site. So EWA focused its efforts there.

According to the company and government documents, Amphenol sent its wastewater into the municipal sewer system from 1961 to 1981. And in a 1985 letter, the Indiana State Board of Health noted that leaks on the plating room floor, where employees rinsed parts with industrial fluids, had likely contaminated groundwater. The contaminants included trichloroethylene, or TCE, a chemical used as a degreaser and often as a dry-cleaning solvent.  TCE has been linked to kidney cancer and increased risk of leukemia, and the National Institutes of Health listed it as a known human carcinogen in 2016.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director
Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
P.O. Box 998, Mountain View, CA 94042
Voice/Fax: 650/961-8918 

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