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Congressional District # 17


EPA ID# ILD990817991
Last Updated: December, 2011

Site Description

The Galesburg/Koppers Superfund site is a 105-acre active-woodtreating site, located in a rural area approximately two miles south of Galesburg. It treats "green" railroad ties with heat, pressure, creosote, and coal tar. Past treatment operations have also included pentachlorophenol (PCP) and fuel oil in the mix. Environmental problems emerged during spring 1965 when phenol was found in the plant's discharge water, and lime sludge was observed in a ditch. The site has been in operation since 1907, and past waste disposal practices led to contamination in the soil and groundwater in and around the site. 

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

The areas of contamination include a number of unlined lagoons, spray fields, waste pile storage areas, and ditches. The contaminants of concern include creosote, coal tar, PCP, and fuel oil.

Cleanup Progress

Remedial investigation (RI) work was performed between May 1985 and April 1986 with a final report date of August 8, 1986. The report identified both soil and groundwater contamination by the contaminants of concern. A record of decision (ROD) was signed on June 30, 1989, and  selected a remedy of biological treatment for contaminated site soils and pump-and-treat remediation for site groundwater. A Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) Consent Order was issued in August 1994 and stated that the named responsible parties Burlington Northern Railroad Company and Beazer East, Inc., and necessary party Koppers Industries, Inc. must initiate design and cleanup activities at the site per the ROD.

Since that time, the biological treatment technology has been demonstrated, and construction of the full scale Soil Storage Unit (SSU) and Land Treatment Unit (LTU) has been completed. Contaminated soil was excavated from all identified operable units and placed in the SSU. All soil targeted for the LTU has been successfully treated.  The SSU has been decommissioned and dismantled.  The LTU has been partially closed. Pilot testing for an alternate groundwater treatment was conducted and an explanation of significant difference (ESD) was completed in 2001 to change the groundwater remedy to an in situ treatment. A preliminary close-out report was finalized on September 28, 2001, for the site. The site is currently in the operation and maintenance stage.  The first two five year reviews were completed in September 2000 and September 2005, respectively, and in each the remedy was found to be protective.  A third five year review was completed in September 2010.  The remedy continues to be working as intended and the site remedy remains protective.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
david linnear (linnear.david@epa.gov)
(312) 886-1841

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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