Start of Remedial Investigation Process at Indian Refining/Texaco Superfund Site
Fact Sheet #9
The former Indian Refining Company/Texaco Refinery site property consists of approximately 990 acres along the southeast portion of Lawrenceville. It is bordered on the south and west by wetlands, agricultural land and residential areas. The Embarras River forms the eastern boundary, and residential areas are found north of the site. The facility operated as an active petroleum refinery from the early 1900's until the mid-1990's. During the early part of the last century, a lube oil refinery was located on what is known today as Indian Acres and Indian Acres North at the northeastern portion of the property. That area was later used for waste disposal, including lube oil filter clay sludge, acid sludge, and possibly other wastes. Waste materials from this facility are found in numerous areas south of the B & O Railroad tracks, which runs east-west across the site. The site was investigated by the Illinois EPA and was submitted to the National Priority List of Superfund Sites in 1998.
In 1996, a residential area adjacent to Indian Acres was referred to U.S. EPA for a removal action. Acidic tar-like waste material was removed from several residential properties during fall 1996 and fall 1997. Additional investigation in residential areas in spring 2000 revealed no new areas of this type of waste material. In 1998, demolition of the main refinery units began. To date, nearly all of the aboveground structures have been cleaned, dismantled and taken off-site. The Illinois EPA and the Illinois Office of the Attorney General filed an action against Texaco in federal court. As a result, Texaco and the State of Illinois have entered into a Consent Decree, which directs Texaco to conduct a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study.
Now that the demolition of the aboveground equipment is nearly complete, what happens next?
To identify the location, types and concentrations of contaminants at the site, the responsible party will perform a
Remedial Investigation (RI). This includes:
Scope of Work - answers the questions about what environmental media (soil, air, water) need to be investigated
Work Plan - states how the investigation will be conducted
Field Work - the collecting of environmental samples
Human Health Risk Assessment - establishes what risk might exist to human health if no action is taken.
Ecological Risk Assessment - establishes what risk might exist to the environment - plants, animals, and aquatic life
How long will the Remedial Investigation take?
Superfund Remedial Investigations vary depending on the complexity of the site. Most take two years if everything runs smoothly and the RI is not interrupted. Illinois EPA expects that the RI for this site may take three years, including all the parts listed above. The site is being divided into numerous pieces that will be individually evaluated due to specific types of waste in those areas. Obviously, with a site this large, not all areas will see RI work consecutively.
What about the underground piping? Does that need to be removed?
The removal of the underground structures, including piping systems, may occur at a later stage of the process.
What are the first steps of the RI process?
The work plan for the formal RI was approved in May 2002, and Texaco's consultant, SECOR, began part of the RI work at the former refinery site on November 5, 2001. SECOR's staff performed sampling with a geoprobe (a truck-mounted push drill) at approximately 250 locations at the perimeter of the site between November 5 and December 14 to determine whether hydrocarbon product or other refinery waste material was present. The purpose of that work was to determine locations for monitoring well installation.
What is the next step in the RI work?
Remedial investigation work began the week of June 17, 2002. SECOR began monitoring well installation, on-site sediment and surface water sampling as well as staking and clearing for on-site soil and groundwater sampling. Other environmental sampling that will take place over the course of the RI includes:
- Soil and Sediment sampling - initial and to fill data gaps
- Surface water and Groundwater - initial; then periodic in problem areas
All samples will be evaluated for the following constituents:
- Inorganics (metals, minerals)
- Organics - Volatile Compounds (solvents, light weight fuels) and Semi-volatiles (heavier fuels, various waste products)
- pH - such as highly acidic or caustic wastes
- Polychlorinated Biphenols (PCBs) - from old transformers
Once the RI work is complete, will you tell the local residents what the results are?
Yes. Once the investigation work is complete, Illinois EPA will receive a final report from Texaco's consultant and will make this available in the Public Repository for the site at the Lawrence Public Library at 814 - 12th Street in Lawrenceville and will send a fact sheet summarizing the results to everyone on the mailing list for the site.
What is the next step after the RI?
Once the data have been collected to satisfy the needs of the RI, a Feasibility Study will be performed to examine possible solutions for various contaminated areas on the former refinery site.
Will there be any public meetings?
Yes. Illinois EPA will host a public availability session once data is available from the initial portion of the RI. Illinois EPA staff will be available to answer questions about the site work. A flyer announcing this public meeting as well as updates about the site work will be sent to the site mailing list. If you are not on the mailing list but would like to be, please contact Carol Fuller by phone or e-mail (see below).
For more information, please contact:
Carol L. Fuller
Community Relations Coordinator
Office of Community Relations
Public Information Officer
Bureau of Land,
National Priorities Unit