A former quarry near Bloomington considered a tourist destination

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (AP) – Monroe County officials are buying part of a site near Bloomington dotted with old limestone quarries for a possible tourist destination despite chemical contamination found in the area.

Monroe County Council last week approved the $ 370,000 purchase of nearly 30 acres just northwest of the Interstate 69 and Indiana 46 interchange, the Herald-Times reported.

Over the past two years, county leaders have discussed purchasing approximately 100 acres of former wooded quarries with the idea of ​​building trails, limestone industry exhibits and a concert hall in outdoors.

Tests by an Indiana University researcher revealed low levels of contamination of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in sections of the quarry not yet purchased by the county. Several sites around Bloomington contaminated with toxic industrial chemicals have been the subject of multi-million dollar cleanups since the 1980s.

County Council Member Kate Wiltz said the proposed park project could recognize the negative impact of industrial pollution on the community while paying homage to the limestone heritage of the area.

“I think that’s one side of parks and public lands that we don’t often promote, but it’s an equally important reason to buy and manage property,” Wiltz said.

Corina C. Butler

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