Fact Sheet #8
During April and May 2000, SECOR, environmental consultant for Texaco, performed various investigations of soil on residential properties to screen for refinery-related waste material. In a joint effort, U.S. EPA, Illinois EPA, Texaco, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Lawrence County Health Department performed a visual investigation of 158 residential properties. The focus of this investigation was to look for any obvious tar-like, acidic waste material at the surface or suspicious areas of strained vegetation and to choose soil sample points. At the same time, Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA performed interviews with residents to learn whether property owners had ever noticed any of the waste material on their properties. Finally, surface and deeper soil samples were taken for lab analysis.
Was waste material found on any residential properties?
Other than a couple of small areas along South Fourth Street that, based on prior investigations, were known to contain some refinery-related waste material, no new areas of this type of contamination were found on private properties.
How many properties were investigated?
The agencies interviewed owners of 141 properties, and visually inspected a total of 158 properties. 103 soil borings were taken as well as 14 surface soil samples.
What area was investigated?
- the 15-block area in southeast Lawrenceville, north of the refinery, which includes streets from Third Street west to Thirteenth Street and from Hickory Street north to Christy.
- the area west of the refinery that includes an area along Eleventh Street from Hickory south to Cherry.
- a third area just west of the refinery gate that includes several blocks between Crackle and South Twelfth Street and continues to 13th Street
Will other residential areas be investigated later?
Since no new areas of contamination were uncovered on the 158 properties nearest the refinery border, U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA do not believe that Texaco needs to look any further for the acidic, tar-like waste material on residential properties at this time. However, based on a recent site visit, U.S. EPA identified some material that may need more investigation. That material is located along Hickory Street between Third and Fourth Streets. Further investigation there would not involve private properties at this time. In addition, if the remedial investigation for the main site reveals new evidence for off-site contamination, potentially responsible parties will be required to evaluate the extent of the contamination and take appropriate action.
What are the results of the lab analysis for the soil samples submitted during the April-May investigation?
Samples that were submitted for two properties in the 1500 block of Fourth Street showed that the waste material is consistent with the material that was the focus of a cleanup action during 1996-1997.
Will someone perform cleanup on those properties where waste material was found?
Yes. There will be a small cleanup on two properties in the 1500 block of Fourth Street. Texaco expects to complete this remedial action during fall 2000.
What about the material that was dug up between Third and Fourth Streets in the 1600 block? Didn't that material continue past the point that the refinery stopped digging?
Yes, the material did continue past the point of the prior removal excavation. Further work is required for that property. Discussions are happening now between Texaco, U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA about a remedy for this and another area that were the sites of previous removal actions.
Some private properties experienced diesel-type odors when it rains. Did you find any waste product on those properties?
An area of suspected fuel contamination along Crackle Street was identified during the residential investigation on a couple of properties along Crackle Street. That particular contamination will also be investigated as part of the remedial investigation for the entire site.
When will environmental sampling begin for the larger refinery site?
Texaco expects to begin environmental sampling on the refinery property during spring 2001. Some cleanup activities may begin next fall.
How is the demolition proceeding?
For various reasons, including the financial limitations of the original demolition contractor, the demolition time line has been extended 13 months - through December 2001. Recently a new demolition contractor, Refinery Services, LLC, has started work at the site. Refinery Services, LLC has increased the number of workers at the site, and is committed to accelerating the demolition process from this point forward. Illinois EPA, in consultation with U.S. EPA, will maintain close oversight of demolition activities to ensure that demolition and removal of the aboveground structures will proceed in a safe and environmentally protective manner.
For more information, please contact:
Carol L. Fuller
Community Relations Coordinator
Office of Community Relations
Remedial Project Mgr.
U.S. EPA, Region 5
77 W. Jackson Blvd., SR6J
Chicago, IL 60604-3590
Bureau of Land,
National Priorities Unit