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Congressional District # 15


EPA ID# ILD980397079
Last Updated: January, 2012

Site Description

The A & F Material Reclaiming, Inc. site covers nearly four acres near Greenup, Illinois. The facility began operations in March 1977 as a recycling plant and ceased operations in 1980. The facility processed waste materials such as oil, sludge, caustics and sulfuric acid into fuel oil and fire retardant chemicals. There were numerous violations of the operating permits issued by the Illinois EPA. Within a year of operating, four storage lagoons overflowed, contaminating the surrounding soil and water drainage pathway to the Embarras River. In addition, some of the steel storage tanks failed on several occasions, releasing their contents on the site. These tanks held mixtures of waste oils, sludges, spent caustics, spent acids, contaminated water, and other waste products.

EPA proposed the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in December 1982 and finalized the NPL listing on September 8, 1983. In November 1983, an Initial Remedial Measure was implemented to address the immediate threats at the site. These actions included lowering the level of wastes in the lagoons, diking, trenching, and removing drums and wastes off-site. In addition, a temporary cap was placed over a portion of the consolidated sludge on-site.

The area surrounding the site is agricultural, residential, commercial, municipal, and forested land. The county fairgrounds are located southwest of the site and are used year-round for the boarding and care of horses. The Embarras River is located about 1,000 feet from the site and is used for fishing and livestock watering.

Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The remedial investigation report did not include a formal baseline risk assessment. Since the lagoon sludge, wastewater and oil, along with tank waste, were removed under the Interim Remedial Measure, they posed no environmental impacts or adverse health effects to the neighboring community. The primary concerns associated with the site were with respect to the soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water.

Soils in the area of the tank farm were contaminated and posed an environmental threat. Several sediment samples taken from the drainage ditch showed low levels of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but sediments from the river did not have any substantial contamination. Neither the drainage ditch nor the river showed any contamination above background levels.

Data from groundwater wells showed elevated levels of sulfate, total dissolved solids (TDS), and oil and grease. Additionally, several metals were detected at levels higher than background and in some cases higher than the Illinois EPA standard for groundwater. Because of the dilution effect between the groundwater and surface water, it was expected that the contaminated groundwater would not cause contamination in the river. Also, the planned removal of contaminated materials from the site would remove the primary source of contamination to the groundwater. The remedial investigation concluded there was a high flow rate through the sand and gravel aquifer, which would allow for rapid flushing of any residual contaminants.

Cleanup Progress

From December 1980 through December 1982 there were several removal actions at the site in which contaminated soils, sediments, tanks and buildings were removed and disposed off-site. These actions included lowering the level of wastes in the lagoons, diking, trenching, and removing drums and wastes off-site. In addition, a temporary cap was placed over a portion of the consolidated sludge on-site.

In December 1982, the Site was included on the proposed NPL. The site was finalized on the NPL on September 8, 1983. In November 1983, an Initial Remedial Measure was implemented to address remaining site contaminants in tanks and drums. The remaining wastes on-site included about 153,000 gallons of contaminated liquids in tanks, 16,000 gallons of contaminated oils in tanks, and 20 drums with unknown contents. All tank liquids, oils and drums were disposed off-site at an approved facility through the Initial Remedial Measure.

On September 12, 1984, a Partial Consent Decree was entered into by four of the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) which outlined a remedial action plan that included a phased approach for cleaning up the Site. The first phase included the remedial investigation (RI) and the feasibility study (FS); the second phase was an immediate removal action to address the threatened release of contaminants from the two lagoons; the third phase involved removal and disposal of contaminated soils and sediments, removal and disposal of the buildings and equipment, final site grading, air monitoring, and site security; and the final phase of the remedial action plan involved closure and groundwater monitoring requirements.

The groundwater monitoring program was agreed to by the Consenting Defendants in 1988 and documented in the August 1988 Remedial Action Plan as required by the August 14, 1986, Record of Decision (ROD) for Operable Unit 2 (OU2). Under the plan several additional monitoring wells were installed and a few existing wells were abandoned. Twenty parameters listed in the 1986 ROD were to be periodically monitored until their concentrations dropped below their specific action level as specified in the ROD. The action levels were based upon Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCLs) of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Elimination of a parameter in a given well could occur when that parameter had not been detected above the action limits for a specified period of time per the procedures in the August 1988 Remedial Action Plan. Based on this protocol 16 of 20 parameters were able to be eliminated from the monitoring program.

The first five-year review for the site was completed on September 27, 2000, and the second five-year review was completed on September 29, 2005.  Both reviews of the site concluded that the remedies selected for the site were protective of human health and the environment.

On May 24, 2010, an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) was signed by EPA eliminating iron, manganese, sulfate, and total dissolved solids (TDS) as site contaminants of concern from the groundwater cleanup remedy. With the elimination of these four parameters as site contaminants of concern, the action levels identified in the 1986 ROD for these contaminants are no longer applicable or relevant and appropriate. Therefore, all groundwater cleanup levels have been attained and groundwater monitoring will no longer be required.

All site cleanup goals have been achieved. Hazardous wastes no longer remain on-site that would prohibit unlimited use or unrestricted exposure. Therefore, five-year reviews are no longer required at the A & F Material Reclaiming, Inc. Superfund site. The third and final five-year review was completed on June 30, 2010.  A Site-Wide Ready for Anticipated Use Determination was completed for the Site on July 2, 2010, stating all cleanup goals in the ROD and all institutional controls, if required, are in place.  A final close-out report for this site was signed on October 6, 2011, the report stated all remedial action activities have been completed.  


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
gladys beard (beard.gladys@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7253

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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