Cleanup of former Drewrys Brewery site to begin in the spring

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(Photo Supplied/City of South Bend and southbendin.gov)

The City of South Bend and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are beginning the cleanup of the former site of Drewrys Brewery after years of neglect by the former property owner.

The City took ownership of the site this summer and has conducted a full environmental assessment in coordination with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and EPA.

In the coming weeks, the City will install a new fence on the northern portion of the 14.7-acre site and remediate asbestos debris on or near the sidewalk.

In spring/summer 2023, EPA will remove the remaining asbestos from within the existing buildings and the asbestos-containing demolition debris. EPA will also assess the potential need for removal of underground storage tanks at the site.

Environmental assessments found limited contaminants on the site in shallow soils that appear directly attributable to historical onsite industrial operations and may require remediation. Demolition debris left on the site by the previous property owner was not properly remediated for asbestos and therefore must be treated as asbestos-containing construction debris and disposed of properly.

“If the previous property owner had not irresponsibly demolished the existing structures without remediating the asbestos inside, this cleanup would be relatively straightforward. Instead, we’re forced to treat at least 14,000 tons of demolition debris as asbestos-containing,” said Caleb Bauer, Executive Director of Community Investment. “We are grateful for the EPA’s quick action to step in and assist with this cleanup and look forward to eliminating this eyesore for neighbors.”

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