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Congressional District # 10


EPA ID# ILD003817137
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The 120-acre Petersen Sand & Gravel site is located north of Libertyville, Illinois; northeast of the intersection of IL Route 21 and IL Route 137.  Raymond Petersen purchased land in 1952 to mine sand and gravel.  The company later dumped non-hazardous wastes, solvents, and paint wastes in buried drums at the site between 1955 and 1958 in a 120-acre area located in the northern portion of the quarry.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) inspected the site in 1971 and ordered it closed because of illegal dumping.  The site consists of three disposal areas that are located in the quarry, just east of the Des Plaines River.  The first disposal area, which IEPA re-inspected in 1972 and found to be properly closed, contains non-hazardous wastes.  In 1976, IEPA discovered 10 to 15 uncovered barrels of waste in the second disposal area of the gravel pit.  Of these, about half contained paint and solvent wastes.  Raymond Petersen owned the site until the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) acquired it in 1979.  In 1983, the LCFPD uncovered six more drums, containing unknown liquids in an area of the site that is located outside the quarry, 100 yards east of the second disposal area.  Barbed wire surrounds the perimeter of the gravel pit.  Approximately 880 people live within a one-mile radius of the site.  The closest residence is an onsite trailer.

LCFPD converted the quarry into a 115-acre recreational lake which opened to the public in 2001.

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed through federal and state actions.  EPA funded the State of Illinois, through the Illinois Evironmental Protection Agency, to conduct a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study and to develop a Record of Decision.  Subsequent to the No Action Decision, the Site was deleted from the National Priorities List in 1991. 

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater, surface water, and sediments contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals that include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Because contamination levels were low and site contaminants are not migrating, no potential health threats existed. 

Cleanup Progress

In 1977, IEPA removed approximately 350 drums from the second disposal area and placed them in a landfill, permitted for hazardous waste.  In 1983, approximately 400 empty drums, 2,600 yards of contaminated soil, and 26,000 gallons of surface water from a disposal trench were removed and placed in a permitted landfill for hazardous waste.  Also, 750 drums and 1,000 paint cans were removed.  U.S. EPA and IEPA conducted the study to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site under a cooperative agreement (CA), signed in 1986.  The state completed the final study of the site in 1988.  Based on the results, U.S. EPA has concluded that no further site contamination studies or other cleanup actions need to be carried out at the site. The study showed that past removal actions were adequate and that no unacceptable risks remain.  However, LCFPD has redeveloped the site by building a lake.  It was determined that this construction could change the way any remaining contaminants at the site migrate.  Therefore, although it is not required by U.S. EPA, LCFPD will continue to monitor the surface water and sediments.  There has been no indication that the construction of the lake has negatively impacted the site conditions.  This site was deleted from the National Priorities List on Feb. 11, 1991.

Property Reuse

The Lake County Forest Preserve District developed a lake on the site in 2002.   The lake is currently being used for recreational purposes.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
david seely (seely.david@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7058

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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