NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A mystery has filled the air in one Hamilton County neighborhood. People believe something is falling from the sky, ruining their valuables.
No one seems to know for sure where it’s coming from.
Austin Rickert said everything on and around his house is coated with an odd, sticky, metal flake material. He and his fiancée have tried cleaning this stuff off, and it doesn’t come off.
“Everything we have invested our money in through the summer is being ruined. My truck’s paint job is ruined; her vehicle is ruined,” said Rickert.
Several months ago, they noticed the gritty film developing on everything outside. They have stopped eating out of their garden and most of their time at home is spent indoors.
“Obviously we want to start planning to have children and to be totally honest I do not want to bring children into this if they have to breathe that in,” said Rickert.
Rickert bought the truck two years ago. It was the first vehicle he ever bought brand new. He said he’s taken good care of it. But when you run a business cared across the hood, it sounds like sand is ground into the paint.
Rickert has called the Noblesville Mayor, IDEM and the EPA. He wants the responsible party or parties stopped and held accountable.
Rickert’s neighbor has the same problem.
“It is some sort of a burn mark, some sort of a rust discoloration but burned into the paint. It doesn’t seem like normal tree sap or pollen or some kind of environmental thing. It is like something burned into it and it wouldn’t go away,” said Adam Jurczak.
According to a statement sent to News 8, the Indiana Department of Environmental has received other complaints.
On Oct. 1, a state air quality inspector tested the air near Rickert’s neighborhood and found no evidence or violations related to dust coming from a nearby facility. However, the inspector did find a record-keeping violation at that same facility.
“The guy I spoke to that works there said they have known about the issue for months now,” said Rickert.
IDEM will continue to monitor the area and look for other issues.
When submitting a complaint, provide the time of day the dust was observed, which direction the wind was blowing, and any other significant details to help IDEM find the source.