NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Damaged and leaking containers, random buckets with mystery fluids and unknown substances is just some of the things found by Noblesville inspectors at the Indiana Transportation Museum, according to a new city report obtained by Call 6 Investigates.
After Call 6 Investigates started asking questions to city officials, Noblesville inspectors went into the property and found the chemical containers, some leaking and stored improperly. But the city had no idea what was inside most of them because they weren’t labeled.
After the leaking chemicals were uncovered by Call 6 Investigates, the city and the state’s environmental management office opened investigations into the embattled museum.
Although the chemicals found leaking at the popular Indiana museum last week do not pose any immediate danger, they do need to be cleaned up, according to the state's environmental management office.
The transportation museum, best known for running the State Fair Train and the Polar Bear Express trains throughout the year, was sent a letter by the City of Noblesville on May 30, notifying it of the investigation.
According to the letter, ITM is in “serious default” of its lease while it’s under investigation by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management after the chemicals, which were first thought to be hazardous, were found leaking on the museum grounds.
The transportation museum originally denied any environmental concerns at the museum.
“This is another example of local political leaders’ unwillingness to work with the ITM and its new leadership to resolve differences,” John McNichols, Indiana Transportation Museum Board Chair said in a written statement. “This latest release is simply another trumped up charge to reduce the significant public outcry against the cities of Fishers and Noblesville to rip up the rails.”
“To the best of our knowledge, there have been no violations or complaints registered with IDEM. ITM pledges full cooperation with IDEM and their contractors to resolve any issues,” McNichols said. “Our new ITM management and staff will be addressing possible ground contamination issues with Hamilton County and IDEM to establish a plan to resolve any issues.”
The city says the museum violated Indiana’s environmental laws and they immediately reported what they found to IDEM.
According to the letter, the city is requiring the museum to file a clean-up plan with the city. A licensed environmental professional must be involved in the plan.