For Immediate Release
March 29, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Seeks Public Comment on Lowen Corp. Site in Hutchinson

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is requesting public comment on a proposed plan for addressing soil and groundwater contamination in the general vicinity of 15 th and N. Halstead St. in Hutchinson.

In 1964, Lowen Corporation began using the facility at 1501 N. Halstead St. in Hutchinson for the design and manufacture of decals and real estate signs, including the fabrication of sheet metal and screen-printing. Contaminated groundwater was identified in 1996 during investigations by the City of Hutchinson.

The contaminants included tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, which are used as cleaning and degreasing agents, and lead and chromium from inks used at the facility. In December 1997, a consent agreement was reached between Lowen Corporation and KDHE to address the contamination.

The KDHE proposal includes groundwater monitoring to verify decreases in contaminant levels, as well as excavation of contaminated soil with off-site disposal. KDHE may modify its proposal based on new information or public comments.

Comments can be submitted to KDHE in writing from April 4 through May 3 at the KDHE address listed below. During that time, all pertinent documents will be available for public review at the following locations during normal business hours:

Hutchinson Public Library
901 N. Main Street
Hutchinson, Kansas 67501
Ph: (620) 663-5441

Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Bureau of Environmental Remediation
1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 410
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1367
Ph: (785) 296-8896