Hammond denies request for paintball field at former toxic dump site

2012-09-02T18:48:00Z Hammond denies request for paintball field at former toxic dump siteSteve Zabroski Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
September 02, 2012 6:48 pm  • 

HAMMOND | City officials have denied a developer's proposal to open a paintball field at a former North Hammond toxic dump site.

Griffith businessman Antonio X. Alvarez had sought approval to operate the recreational combat facility on 136th Street at the Illinois state line.

But the Board of Public Works and Safety, after reviewing the property's history of contamination provided by the city's Department of Environmental Management, recently rejected the plan due to health and safety concerns.

The site, just south of Wolf Lake, was once home to Calumet Containers, a company which recycled drums and barrels for the chemical, oil and steel industries, and dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals into the soil there before closing after a 1982 fire.

More than 10,000 gallons of hazardous waste and 30,000 tons of chemical drums and contaminated soil were subsequently removed from the property by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at a cost of nearly $3 million.

Alvarez did not attend Thursday's hearing on the paintball park proposal.

Two years ago, he attempted to open a similar facility on the city's southeast side, but that property was absorbed as part of a permanent easement for the Little Calumet River flood control levee project.

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