Old Cahokia Creek Wetland Complex - Old American Zinc

Old American Zinc (OAZ) is a 132-acre former zinc smelting site located in Fairmont City, IL. The facility was in operation from 1913-1967, producing slab zinc, zinc carbonate, cadmium, lead, and sulfuric acid. Slag, a smelting waste product left behind at the site, contains several chemicals of potential ecological concern including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and zinc. Runoff from slag piles has resulted in concentrations of metals above screening levels in soil, groundwater, surface water, and stream sediments in and around the site. These elevated levels of metals have the potential to impact terrestrial and aquatic organisms, including several threatened and endangered species that can be found in the area. 

In April 2016, the OAZ site was added to the National Priorities List, a list of hazardous waste sites eligible for long-term remedial action and federal funding under the Superfund law.
The Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) for the contamination at the site include Blue Tee Corp., XTRA Intermodal, Inc., and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Blue Tee Corp., the successor company of OAZ, filed for bankruptcy in 2017. This required natural resource trustee agencies to conduct a condensed Natural Resource Damage Assessment to conform to the time frame imposed by the bankruptcy schedule. The IDNR and IEPA, represented by the Illinois Attorney General, prepared a bankruptcy claim and reached a settlement agreement with Blue Tee, Inc. In October 2019, the State of Illinois received a settlement claim that will provide funds to preserve and enhance ecological features in the region.

Restoration planning will consist of two phases: Phase 1 will address time critical water bird habitat restorations and Phase 2 will address more general restoration needs in the area.