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News Releases from Region 05

EPA seeks public comment on proposed cleanup plan for Cline Avenue Ditch Site in Gary, Indiana

Comment period runs from July 13 to August 21

Contact Information: 
Ben Weiss (

GARY, Ind. (July 13, 2020) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begins a 30-day public comment period on the proposed cleanup plan for the Cline Avenue Ditch Site in Gary. The site, located near the northeast corner of the intersection of Gary Avenue and Cline Avenue (Indiana Route 912), has been impacted by oil entering the ditch and ultimately discharging into the Grand Calumet River. The proposed cleanup measures will prevent oil from entering the ditch and eliminate contaminants from moving off-site.

The proposed cleanup measures include: 

  • Installation of a storm sewer pipe to replace the open channel ditch with bulkheads for support. 
  • Removal and proper off-site disposal of oil-contaminated material above the paver stones within the ditch and in construction areas. 
  • Installation of low-permeability collars on the pipe to limit flow of oil.  
  • Sealed pipe joints. 
  • Installation of soil/bentonite cut-off wall east of the downstream culvert to prevent leakage. 
  • Regrading to enhance drainage. 
  • Long-term monitoring and reporting. 

In June 2004, EPA responded to a reported release of oil to the Grand Calumet River. An investigation concluded that the oil originated from a portion of the ditch along Cline Avenue. Measures were put in place to remove standing oil and prevent additional oil from migrating out of the ditch and into the river. In January 2011, EPA was notified of an oil sheen in the ditch north of the intersection of Cline and Gary Avenues and responded by installing and maintaining absorbent booms to capture floating oil. Additional booms were placed along the eastern embankment of the ditch near five identified oil seeps.

EPA continued these measures until March 2017 when Oxy USA, Inc., the responsible party, took over controlling oil in the ditch. Oxy conducted investigations necessary to develop a feasibility study to evaluate and develop potential final cleanup measures. Oxy’s subsidiary, Glenn Springs Holdings, conducted the feasibility study under EPA’s supervision and in consultation with the state.

To review the proposed cleanup plan detailed in the “focused feasibility study report,” dated May 21, 2020, visit The report is also available for review during normal business hours at the Gary Public Library and Cultural Center, 220 W 5th Ave., Gary, Indiana.

Comments on the proposed plan can be submitted between July 13 and August 21, 2020, in these ways:

For additional information on the Cline Avenue Ditch Site, visit