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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Compliance > Land Compliance > Confined Feeding Operations Compliance > Open Dump in Brownsville Cleaned Up Open Dump in Brownsville Cleaned Up

July 2005

IDEM Oversees Cleanup at an Open Dump in Brownsville through a Supplemental Environmental Project

Partial view of open dump before clean up.

Site Snapshot

IDEM Action

Investigated and oversaw the cleanup at an open dump that included vehicles, appliances, equipment and waste tires.


Brownsville, Union County

Potential Human Health & Environmental Threats

Waste tires provide a vector breeding habitat and fire hazard, resulting in fire residue contamination to air, soil and water.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) facilitated an agreement with the property owner of an open dump and a respondent, who was involved in another enforcement settlement to jointly clean up the solid waste at the site. The parties voluntarily agreed to participate in an environmentally beneficial project, known as a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) as part of their settlements.

IDEM staff inspected the open dump and found large quantities of solid waste piled and scattered throughout the10-acre property in Brownsville, Union County. The property owner performed a partial cleanup. However, the party did not have the financial resources to complete the cleanup. The court and area planning commission ordered the owner to cease operations and clean up the property under IDEM's oversight.

IDEM arranged for the cleanup to be completed through a SEP. By utilizing a SEP, a company involved in a different enforcement case agreed to pay a portion of the penalty to IDEM and use the balance to help clean up the solid waste at the open dump.

The cleanup included removing an inventory of approximately 800 wrecked vehicles, vending machines; household appliances; computers; batteries and 3,600 waste tires. Piles of construction debris also were found at the site.

Partial view of the open dump after clean up.

The inspector estimated the open dump contained 60 tons of scrap metal. Approximately 80% of the salvage waste was taken to a recycling center. The remaining waste was hauled in twenty 40 cubic yard containers to a permitted landfill for proper disposal. Fluids in the vehicles were drained, containerized and properly disposed. The waste tires were transported to a recycler.

Waste tires stored outdoors make an ideal breeding site for disease-carrying mosquitoes, other insects and rodents. Fires at these sites often are difficult to extinguish. The fires can cause a substantial amount of air pollution which can create large amounts of residue and contaminate nearby air, land and water.

The Union County Health Department and the area planning commission assisted IDEM at the site.

In July, the cleanup was completed.

For further information about IDEM's cleanup actions at this site, contact staff at the following phone numbers or at IDEM's toll free phone number (800) 451-6027:

Jim Evans
Inspector Senior
Agriculture & Solid Waste Compliance
(317) 308-3056

Janet Arnold
Environmental Manager
Office of Enforcement
(317) 232-7201