Old Tomato Cannery Stirs Up New Fears In Franklin

Dec 2, 2019

Credit Courtesy of Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Franklin residents concerned about rare child cancers in the area are now turning their attention to another polluted site. 

State officials have known about the old Hougland Tomato Cannery for some time. But until last week, they didn't have enough data about the contaminated groundwater from the cannery to map it out. 

Some parts of the plume have levels of the chemical TCE that are higher than the old Amphenol industrial site — the main area of concern.

Still, IDEM says there isn’t evidence that polluted vapors from the water are seeping into homes and businesses near the cannery. But Franklin advocates with the group If It Was Your Child say they don’t believe the agency, which they say has ignored their concerns about Amphenol in the past.

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold an open house on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the Franklin branch of the Johnson County Library at 5 p.m. to talk about groundwater treatment and sewer work near the Amphenol site.

There’s no telling what federal clean up efforts might be done near the Hougland Tomato Cannery, if any.

Contact Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.