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Last updated on November 24, 2021, at 4:16 p.m.

 

The Bloomington Fire Department (BFD) completed a controlled live burn training series at 1213 South High Street from November 2-5, 2021. Already slated and approved for demolition, the two-story house at that address was donated by the owners for use by the BFD as an opportunity to conduct live fire training. 

Soil samples taken from properties where debris was most heavily dispersed after the November 5 controlled burn do not contain levels of lead exceeding Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) limits for residential or direct contact exposure, and are in keeping with IDEM’s survey of background lead concentrations in Indiana soil. Samples were collected by VET Environmental Engineering (VET) and tested at an independent laboratory. None of the samples exceeded 200 parts per million (ppm) for lead. IDEM requires action to be taken if lead levels exceed 400 ppm. Once all of the test results have been received, the City plans on releasing a comprehensive written report to include the test results for review.

The environmental remediation consultants advise that residents in the affected area may rake leaves to the edge of their property for vacuum collection by the City. The City expects results this week from samples taken from leaf piles around the area to ensure the leaves are within normal parameters for disposal at a landfill. In an abundance of caution, the City will not compost these leaves as per usual practice. Households in the affected area participating in the 1,000 Households Who Mulch initiative (whose homes are designated with a “Proud Pilot Participant” sign) may rake leaves to the curb for collection as well.   

“We have consulted with public health officials and based on the current data and work completed, the homeowners should be able to proceed with fall lawn care as they normally would,” said Monroe County Health Administrator Penny Caudill. “Wearing gloves, washing up when the work is done and perhaps wearing a mask should allow the work to be done with little, if any risk.”

If any visible paint flakes are found, they may be disposed of in the normal household trash.  

Blood samples collected from firefighters who were operating at the controlled burn were tested for elevated lead levels. Results will be shared with the public when available and testing extended to community members. BFD firefighters are being trained to offer this testing through a continued partnership with the Monroe County Health Department.

VET and Environmental Assurance Company, Inc. (EACI) worked with the City to evaluate and/or remediate a total of 111 properties.   

The controlled burn at 1213 South High Street was undertaken as a training exercise for the BFD after being approved by IDEM. This exercise resulted in 94 Bloomington firefighters, many of them hired over the past few years, gaining invaluable experience. Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore has been in communication with the director of the Indiana Fire & Public Safety Academy and IDEM officials to ensure that lessons learned from this controlled burn are openly discussed in an effort to inform future approval processes or guidance to the state’s fire departments.  

More information about the City’s actions to respond to the effects of the controlled burn is available at bloomington.in.gov/bfdburninfo or by contacting Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore at firechief@bloomington.in.gov.

 

 

Updates and News Releases

November 23, 2021: Soil Samples Do Not Indicate Actionable Lead Levels after Controlled Burn–Click here.

November 15, 2021: Air Testing Results Indicate No Lead Dust Contamination in Controlled Burn Vicinity–Click here.

November 10, 2021: Bloomington Fire Department and City Continue to Address Impacts of Controlled Burn–Click here.

November 8, 2021: City, BFD Conduct Cleanup After Controlled Burn–Click here.

November 5, 2021: Bloomington Fire Department Controlled Burn–Click here.

November 1, 2021: Bloomington Fire Department to Conduct Controlled Live Burn Training this Week–Click here.

 

 

Info Flyer for Nearby Residents

Click here to view the flyer.

 

 

Remediation Request Form

Please complete this form if you would like to have your home considered for exterior remediation following the contained burn exercise on November 5. Depending on the severity of contamination in your area, remediation may include particle vacuuming, air monitoring and wiping down of outdoor surfaces within reach like porch furniture and railings.

The City has entered into a contract with Environmental Assurance Company, Inc. (EACI) to perform remediation and has contracted with VET Environmental for monitoring expertise. Several contractor teams are currently in affected areas, working their way out from the source of the debris. If your property is determined to be in an area of concern, remediation will be offered. There will be no charge for this service and permission to operate on your property will be requested. 

Bloomington Fire Department personnel continue to work closely with health and environmental specialists, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Monroe County Department of Health to continue to amass information based on scientifically valid sampling methods performed in the area. Based on the information gathered, the map shared below and available online as a PDF has been created identifying those homes determined to be an area of concern and eligible for possible remediation. 

If your property does not appear in an area of concern on the map, testing did not indicate contamination and you should not expect a remediation crew to perform work there.

Click here to submit a request or call 812-332-9763.

 

 

BFD Burn Map

 

 

Guidelines provided by Monroe County Health Department

Cleanup

Take precautions before and during clean-up of paint dust and debris, especially with houses built before 1978:

  • Keep pregnant women, children and pets away.
  • Wear disposable gloves and consider wearing a Hepa filter (if vacuuming) or an N-95 mask.
  • Use of paper towels is recommended, a new one for each area. Mist area with water before cleaning/sweeping exposed areas. Do NOT sweep or wipe up with dry cloth/towel. Clean from up to down, and from outside to in to avoid spreading dust.
  • Use any all-purpose, non-abrasive cleaner (i.e. dishwasher detergent which has mild phosphates in it) or TSP, a lead-specific detergent.
  • Pour any wash and rinse water down the toilet, not the sink.
  • Place washable rugs at the entrances of your home, to prevent tracking of lead dust and soil inside.
  • Thoroughly wash all clothes and skin that may have come into contact with lead dust as soon as possible upon entering home.


 

Gardening

The Monroe County Health Department has provided the following links for information about gardening in soil with potential lead contamination: