Decommissioning & Waste Management for Former Swayne Robinson and Company Foundry


Swayne, Robinson and Company was an iron and aluminum casting factory founded in 1842 by Francis W. Robinson, located in Richmond, Indiana. The company operated until 1997, and at the time it closed, it was the oldest family-owned business in America.

Project Details:

This brownfield site was an abandoned former gray iron foundry in downtown Richmond, Indiana, across from the courthouse and city hall. The county planned to build a new jail at the location and retained KERAMIDA as a partner for this community redevelopment project. KERAMIDA completed environmental assessment and remediation activities, and coordinated this work through the IBP. The goal was to receive a Comfort Letter for the site to facilitate construction of the new jail. 

The County Commissioners were aware of the high level of public concern regarding potential environmental contamination at the site, and the potential risks to future workers and inmates at the planned jail. In order to facilitate ongoing community dialogue and input throughout the project, KERAMIDA participated in public meetings and provided the Commissioners with supplemental letters and other support documents for use in communicating the progress and results of the investigation and remediation activities to the public. This resulted in an informed public that supported the county’s efforts.

KERAMIDA successfully completed a wide range of environmental/risk assessment activities at the site, including:

  • demolition material sampling and analysis

  • waste characterization, classification, packaging, and disposal (large volumes of sand, slag, bricks, wood, metal, lead wastes and other wastes were managed and disposed)

  • UST removal, investigation and closure

  • site-wide sampling and analysis of soil and groundwater

  • sampling and analysis of waste material uncovered during building footer construction

KERAMIDA also conducted a site-specific risk assessment for both residential and commercial land use scenarios, and coordinated with city and county officials regarding disposal of wastes and discharge of accumulated runoff from construction excavations. 

The county received a Comfort Letter for the jail site from the IBP. IDEM concurred with the conclusions of KERAMIDA’s risk assessment that development and use of the site for a jail is not expected to pose unacceptable risks to either workers or inmates at the jail. Today, this abandoned foundry is an integral part of downtown Richmond, Indiana, and an important asset to the community’s criminal justice needs.

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