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Congressional District # 7


EPA ID# IND000807107
Last Updated: March, 2012

Site Description

The 120 acre Reilly Tar & Chemical Corporation site has been used for the production of specialty chemicals and related products since the early 1950s. Until 1972, a coal-tar refining and wood treatment facility, using creosote, operated on the site. A trench, a landfill, and several pits used to dispose of wastes are located onsite. A lime pond received boiler cooling water. The site is fenced. There are approximately 5,200 residents living within three miles of the site, using groundwater for drinking water supplies. Since the early 1950s, Reilly has opereated a specialty chemical plant on the northern portion of the property.  Aboveground tanks and process equipment cover much of the northern 1/3 of the site.  All residents in the area are now on city water.

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Studies indicate that groundwater is contaminated by benzene, pyridine, and ammonia, all raw materials that are used in the chemical production operations. Soils at the site are contaminated with a number of volatile organic contaminants (VOCs), semi-VOCs, and carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs).   Risks posed by direct contact with contaminated soils and ingestion and contact with contaminated groundwater.

Cleanup Progress

The site cleanup has been separated into five areas. Contaminated groundwater is being contained at the site boundary with an extraction system completed in October 1994. This extracted groundwater is being sent to a local wastewater treatment plant. Four onsite hot spot areas of soil contamination were excavated and thermally treated. These operations were completed in January 1997. Sludge from a fifth area was solidified, and a soil cover was placed over a two acre area. These activities were completed in April 1996. 

The remedy selected for the wood treatment and storage area was the placement of a permeable (soil and gravel) cover. The Record of Decision (ROD) for this OU was signed in September 1996, and remedy construction was completed by fall 1999. A remedy was also selected in 1996 for the current chemical production area. Soil vapor will be extracted from one source area, and a concrete cover will be placed over two source areas. The cover work was completed in 1999, and soil vapor treatment was completed in 2005.  The concrete covers were completed in July 1999.  A ROD was signed in June 1997 for the offsite area where the plume of groundwater contamination has migrated.  It required monitored natural attenuation as the cleanup remedy, for which monitoring has begun and is continuing. Site remedy construction is now complete.  The first five-year review for the site was completed in April 2000, which determined that the site remedy is protective of human health and the environment.   A second five year review was completed in 2005 and concluded that the remedies remained protective.

A remedy optimization exercise was completed at the site in Nov 2003, to gauge the efficiency of all remedial systems at the site.  Currently, all OUs are completed except for the perimeter extraction system selected under OU1 and finalized with the OU 5 ROD.  Onsite sewers are currently being investigated as a potential ongoing contamination source.  Parts of the sewers were studied and addressed in 1995 although the areas currently being studied were not addressed at that time.

A five year review was signed in February 2010 that indicated that the remedy was performing as designed.  EPA is currently working with Reilly to summarize their onsite sewer repair work and present information regarding any impacts on groundwater quality.  Updated groundwater modeling is currently underway to fully evaluate the current status of the groundwater system.


Success Story

The site was one of the original NPL sites and is now cleaned up.  Area groundwater contaminant concentrations are decreasing due to the operation of the extraction system.  Reilly implemented communication procedures with the neighborhood directly as a result of EPA community relations activities that continues to this day.

Community Involvement

Community was heavily involved during the RI/FS and the design and construction of the remedies.  Interest has waned since that time.

Congressional Interest

Interest during investigations and remediation was minimal and has ceased since the remedy construction has been completed.

Property Reuse

None-chemical operations continue.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
dion novak (novak.dion@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4737

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




Site Profile Information

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


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