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Congressional District # 19


EPA ID# ILD981781065
Last Updated: January, 2012

Site Description

The Central Illinois Public Service Company site (CIPS) is located in Christian County, Illinois.  The site is slightly less than one acre in size and is located in the city of Taylorville, a community of approximately 11,000 people.  A manufactured gas plant operated on the site from 1892 until 1932.  The coal gasification process produced a by-product called coal tar.  Coal tar is a mixture of volatile organic compounds such as benzene as well as a class of compounds known as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which include compounds such as naphthalene and benzo(a)pyrene.  As a result of operations, coal tar contaminated the soils, groundwater, surface water, and sediments around the site.  Investigations identified that a plume of groundwater contaminated with components of coal tar had migrated approximately 700 feet offsite.  Nearly 500 residents within a one-mile radius of the site used the aquifer for potable water.  Groundwater investigations indicated that four out of 22 homes sampled were contaminated with compounds associated with coal tar.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, local, and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The excavated soil and groundwater below the site are contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs), naphthalene, fluorene, and other polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and VOCs that include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene.  Surface water runoff has transported contaminants offsite.  Sediments in a private pond located downstream from the site are contaminated with PAHs.  A risk assessment conducted at the site concluded that, in its current condition, the site does not present an immediate threat to human health.  Future residential usage of the groundwater, however, may present an unacceptable health risk.  Exposure to surface water and ingestion of fish from the Seaman Estate Pond may pose a significant-increased cancer risk.

Cleanup Progress

In January 1987, CIPS removed approximately 12,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site.  In October 1987, CIPS provided a permanent alternative water supply to approximately 20 residences.  Following the removal action, negotiations between the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and CIPS, regarding further remedial actions (RA), reached an impasse.  In response to CIPS's refusal to conduct further RAs at the site, IEPA proposed the site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in June 1988.  A final decision on the cleanup was reached in September 1992.  Under the Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) Consent Decree, signed in March 1994, CIPS completed the construction of the Groundwater Pump and Treat Plant in February 1995.  The site was placed in the construction complete category on October 6, 1995.  CIPS has not calculated how long the pump and treat plant will have to operate to meet the cleanup objectives.  A five-year review of the CIPS site was completed on March 31, 1999. The pump and treat system is performing as indicated in the ROD.  In order to meet the requirements set within the ROD and remain protective of human health and the environment, the pump and treat system must continue its current operation.

In September 2005, the Illinois EPA signed an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to document changes to the 1992 ROD for the CIPS Site.  These changes allow Ameron CIPS (formerly known as CIPS) to conduct a pilot study on an alternate treatment method in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the length of operation time of the current groundwater pump and treat system.  The ESD revised the cleanup objective for benzo(a)pyrene from 0.00023 mg/L to 0.0002 mg/L, based on newly established Maximum Contaminat Level (MCL) for this constituent.  The ESD also updates cleanup objectives related to surface water quality standards for the contaminants of concerns baseed on new toxicity information.  U.S. EPA has concurred with the ESD signed by Illinois EPA.  Currently, Ameron CIPS is conducting the pilot study using a chemical oxident injected 10 to 40 feet below the surface.  Groundwater monitoring will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the remedy.

U.S. EPA completed a third five-year review of the Ameren CIPS Site in June 2009 and concluded that the remedy was still protective of human health and the environment.  The next five-year review of the site is due in June 2014.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nanjunda gowda (gowda.nanjunda@epa.gov)
(312) 353-9236

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
janet pope
(312) 353-0628




Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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