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Shuttered eastern Indiana hospital's former owners to help state with contamination testing


RICHMOND, Indiana — The former owners of a shuttered eastern Indiana hospital say they'll help state environmental officials with testing to determine who's responsible for asbestos and heavy metal contamination found at the site.

But Reid Hospital officials said they don't believe they're responsible for most of the contamination, especially the asbestos found in parts of the seven-building complex, which has been vacant for seven years. The hospital moved in 2008 to a new $318 million complex after more than a century at that site in Richmond, about 65 miles east of Indianapolis.

"When we left that building, we left it as a fully functioning, accredited hospital. We left that facility in move-in condition," Reid Hospital President Craig Kinyon told the Palladium-Item (http://pinews.co/1Cs3AcE ).

Testing done earlier this year revealed arsenic, chromium, thallium and other toxic materials in the soil within four areas at the complex. Kinyon said one of those areas was described as a public dump site that was cleaned before Reid moved from the property.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management hasn't determined the extent of that contamination, and agency spokesman Dan Goldblatt said the initial testing showed "that more testing is needed."

IDEM has sent requests to Reid; the property's current owner, Spring Grove Development LLC; and the site's two previous owners — Rose City Development LLC and Whitewater Living Center LLC — seeking detailed histories of the property's use.

Goldblatt said IDEM's initial belief is that Reid is likely responsible part of the contamination found on the site because it owned the site for more than a century, starting in 1904.

Reid sold the property in 2006 and became a tenant until it moved to the hospital's new site in 2008.

Information from: Palladium-Item, http://www.pal-item.com

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