INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Environmental, health and neighborhood groups on Monday called on Indianapolis Power & Light to test groundwater at eight coal ash lagoons they fear may be contaminating wells that supply water to residents on the city's south side.
Representatives from the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Indiana Public Health Association, the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations and six other groups said coal ash from the lagoons, which are also near the White River, could be carrying toxic chemicals such as mercury and arsenic into wells in nearby subdivisions, but no one knows how bad the danger really is.
"We need to know what's underneath us," said Jodi Perras, the Indiana representative for Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. "And then IPL needs to take responsibility for it as the law requires it to do."
IPL spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy said in an email that there is no evidence that the utility's coal ash lagoons were contaminating groundwater and that the aquifer near the plant does not serve as a public drinking water source to well water.
She also said IPL meets all EPA requirements and is working to meet new mandates from the agency.
Curt Bratingham, spokesman for the Marion County Health Department, said the department has tested at least 28 residential wells in the immediate area but did not yet have the results.
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