Franklin, Indiana’s Environmental Concerns

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Franklin, Indiana’s Environmental Concerns

Chloe Shepherd, Staff Writer

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Franklin, Indiana, about 45 minutes from Seymour, is a fun town to visit, and it is home to a great school, Franklin College. The town has been struggling with a problem, though. A lot of Franklin children have been diagnosed with cancer. The citizens of Franklin say it’s because of the huge, environmental problem the town has been dealing with for over 20 years.

Franklin is home to a Superfund site. Superfunds were created by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, to clean up areas that were contaminated by a hazardous material and posed a risk to human health. Franklin’s Superfund site is located around the old Franklin Power Plant. The plant was leaking cancer-causing chemicals into the land, and the chemicals then spread throughout the surrounding area and groundwater. Some of the chemicals included TCE, PCE, and DCE. Although the EPA cleaned up the area, it didn’t stop chemicals from spreading into three different water wells.

The EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management have both said the Superfund is cleaned up and not a risk for human health, but a lot of parents disagree. Franklin’s parents are coming together to raise awareness about the connection between the rising number of kids with cancer and the Superfund site. They are calling upon the EPA and IDEM to do additional testing on the area. Local parents have come together to make a group called “If It Was Your Child” where they are calling for local politicians and environmental agencies to aid the city in tests and the removal of chemicals.

This investigation into the contaminated area and the connection to kids with cancer is still going on. You can keep up with the story through local news sites.