Fact Sheet #2
What is the residential cleanup status?
The residential (off-site) cleanup which was begun by Indian Refining Co. under joint guidance of U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA is not yet complete. Tar-like waste was partially excavated at a Fourth Street property and at a property on Hickory Street. The refinery has bought the Hickory Street property. It is to be fenced to prevent any exposure of area residents to the acidic wastes located there. The property on Fourth Street needs more excavation to better define the extent of the waste, both laterally and vertically. Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA are reviewing the refinery's work plan to remove the waste. Removal activities should occur in the near future.
Is the waste present on other residential properties?
Currently, Illinois EPA is not aware of other areas where this waste has surfaced on residential properties. The material is a thick, tar-like substance. During warmer temperatures, it tends to rise to the surface and to spread out on the ground. If you believe this material might be surfacing on your property, please notify the Agency. Contacts are given at the end of this fact sheet.
Should we worry about drinking the water?
The city water supply has not been threatened by the waste in Indian Acres. The groundwater flow from the site is toward the river (southeast). Consequently, the flow would be in the opposite direction of the city's wells. The regular sampling results from the city wells have shown no contaminants that violate federal health standards.
Residential wells sampled in July 1996 were at various depths. While some naturally occurring arsenic did show up in a few wells, no other contaminants were present at levels that would violate federal health standards. The Illinois Department of Public Health has notified residents about the arsenic.
What is being done about the wastes on the refinery property?
For several years, the refinery has been under a consent order (a legal contract) with the Illinois EPA. The refinery agreed to sample certain portions of the site. Meanwhile, U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA have collected various soil, sediment and water samples during October and December 1996. Sample results will be presented in a technical report later this spring. It will be available for public review in the Lawrence Public Library.
The sampling is in an effort to fully characterize the site to identify particular waste areas and the types of waste components present. Once this is done, the Illinois EPA can recommend steps to deal with the waste.
How long will this take?
The Illinois EPA expects to complete its reports later this spring. If the refinery or other responsible parties are able to perform the remediation, they could begin developing their work plan once the site is characterized. If those parties are unable to or choose not to begin the work, either the Illinois EPA or the U.S. EPA will begin the process of remediating the site.
Are their health issues associated with living near the refinery?
Since the refinery is not in operation, the only adverse health effects that the Illinois EPA and the Illinois Department of Health have identified would be from direct contact with the waste. That is why the site was sealed last June and is to remain fenced and closed to the public. Previous remediation in residential areas removed the waste closest to the surface and replaced it with clean fill dirt, thus removing the immediate exposure route with the waste. Further subsurface remediation in the area on Fourth Street will prevent anyone from coming in contact with the waste during future excavation.
The results of soil and water sampling on private residences will be sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health which will share the information with individual residents.
For Additional Information
Carol L. Fuller
Community Relations Coordinator
Office of Community Relations
llinois EPA, Bureau of Land
Springfield, Ill. 62794-9276
Illinois Dept. of Public Health
2309 W. Main St.
Marion, Ill. 62959
Ill. EPA, Div. of Legal Counsel
Springfield, Ill. 62794-9276