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Coal tar cleaned up at Indiana State University, dates to Civil War era

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 8:06 am

TERRE HAUTE — A tar-filled storage tank dating to the Civil War era has been cleaned up in western Indiana after workers found the industrial waste during excavation work on a new Indiana State University residence hall.

The state's environmental agency oversaw removal of more than 1,100 tons of coal tar and soil found in a buried cylindrical, 40-foot-wide brick storage tank.

Terre Haute city planner Pat Martin tells the Tribune-Star the tank work crews found in mid-November was part of a former manufactured gas plant dating back to around the Civil War era.

ISU spokesman Dave Taylor says the material in the tank was not hazardous. He says the site's remediation involved removing the coal tar and dirt and having it trucked to a landfill over the campus' Christmas break.