An environmental audit in Indianapolis has uncovered several problems Mayor Stephen Goldsmith estimates could cost "hundreds of millions of dollars" to fix, according to his spokewoman.

Dollyne Pettingill, the mayor's spokeswoman, said city departments are reviewing the audit as part of an ongoing process to determine the extent of the city's environmental troubles.

Problems cited in the audit include: leaking underground storage tanks, improper storage and handling of hazardous substances, "unwitting acquisition" of contaminated property.

In addition, there is the possibility that ash from the city's resource recovery plant could be considered hazardous under a recent federal court ruling.

"At this point, as far as the environmental cleanup goes, I don't know of any situation where we would issue bonds," said James Synder, the city's director of strategic and financial planning.

However, he pointed out that bonds would be issued for one item listed in the report.

That project is designed to bring the city's sewer system into compliance with federal requirements for combined sewer outflows and storm-water discharges.

Mr. Snyder said the project, which will cost "well over $100 million," is in the preliminary planning stage.

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