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Congressional District # 16


EPA ID# ILD980606685
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Pagel's Pit site (Site), located in a predominantly rural unincorporated area in the southern part of Winnebago County, Illinois, consists of about 100 acres on the east bank of Killbuck Creek. The Site consists primarily of the north landfill, which occupies about 47 acres. The newer south landfill is not part of the site. The site also includes some of the land west of the creek, where contaminated groundwater has migrated. Winnebago County had a population of about 299,000 in 2007. The north landfill began operation in 1972 and has now been closed, having reached permitted capacity. The base of the landfill, which is in a former gravel quarry, was covered with an asphaltic concrete that was sealed with a coal tar sealer. The landfill has a leachate extraction system and a gas extraction system. Municipal wastes and sewage treatment plant sludge have been the primary wastes accepted at the site, but some special wastes have also been disposed of there. Another Superfund site, the Acme Solvent Reclaiming (Morristown Plant) site, is located east of Pagel's Pit, across the road. The shallow aquifer is a source of drinking water to residents in the area. The groundwater flow is primarily toward the west, where residents are some distance away from Pagel's Pit. There were some nearby residents located across and along the road that touches the eastern edge of the site, toward the south, but most are now gone. The groundwater between the two sites was contaminated with several volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including chlorinated ethenes and aromatic hydrocarbons. Some residents along the road had been provided with a new source of water by some of the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) associated with the Acme Solvent site. The groundwater downgradient of the Pagel's Pit site has been found to contain a few VOCs and elevated levels of arsenic, chloride, boron, and ammonia. 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The groundwater between the two sites had been found to be contaminated with several volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including chlorinated ethenes and aromatic hydrocarbons. The groundwater downgradient of the site has been found to contain a few VOCs, arsenic, chloride, boron, and ammonia at elevated levels. At the present time no one is using the contaminated groundwater.

Cleanup Progress

The Pagel's Pit landfill operated until reaching capacity and has now been closed. A Record of Decision (ROD) was issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1991 for the first operable unit (OU1) at the Site.  OU1 included all of the site, except for contaminated groundwater in the southeastern portion of the site. 

The OU1 ROD called for state-required landfill closure when the landfill reached capacity, including a cover and leachate and gas management systems, and a groundwater pump-and-treat system for the downgradient groundwater.   Final cover and leachate and gas management systems for the western third of the landfill were installed in 1997, and the cover and management systems were installed for the rest of the landfill in 2000 and 2001.

The operator of the landfill is performing the remediation under a Consent Decree (CD) entered in February 1993.  A second ROD, issued in 1999, selected no action for the southeastern groundwater area and amended the remedy for the western groundwater to select monitored natural attenuation (MNA) (with a contingency for active remediation if the source control and natural attenuation do not restore the aquifer, or if the contamination threatens downgradient wells).  EPA noted construction completion for the site in the 1999 ROD. The groundwater between the two sites is being addressed with a pump-and-treat system by some of the PRPs for the Acme Solvent site.

Three five-year review reports have been issued for the Site, with the last being released in September 2012.  The conclusion of the reviews was that the remedy was constructed in accordance with the two RODs. The remedy is functioning as anticipated, and it was found to be protective of human health and the environment in the short-term because exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks were being controlled. However, long-term protectiveness requires compliance with effective institutional controls (ICs). In order for the remedy to be protective in the long-term, additional ICs are necessary.  EPA made a Site-wide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU) determination for the Site on August 14, 2014.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nabil fayoumi (fayoumi.nabil@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6840

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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