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Congressional District # 11


EPA ID# ILD980792303
Last Updated: January, 2012

Site Description

The Cross Brothers National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund site is located near Momence, Pembroke Township, Illinois. Currently, Cross Brothers is operating a wood pallet reclamation facility on its 20-acre parcel of land. The site is situated within a semi-residential area, interspersed with farm and undeveloped pasture land which is located four miles south of the Kankakee River. Cross Brothers operated a pail and drum reclamation business at the site from 1961 to 1980. The reclamation operation consisted of placing drums and pails containing dye, ink, and paint residue onto the ground, allowing the contents to drain. Waste solvents were then poured over the containers to dissolve the remaining residue prior to reconditioning the drums. In 1980, the site was discovered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), based on an aerial survey. Subsequently, the Illinois Attorney General's office obtained a court order in August 1980, requiring the site to be cleaned up and closed. Based on the results of the local private water supply sampling, two home owners north of the site were advised by IEPA to obtain alternate sources of water. The site owner provided them with deeper wells. Further sampling indicated the presence of surficial and buried waste and a groundwater contaminant plume. IEPA conducted interim remedial measures (IRM) in 1985 to clear the disposal area of vegetation and remove 6,500 tons of contaminated surficial soil, 60 tons of crushed pails, 550 drums contained wastes, and 580 empty drums. Further work was needed; therefore, IEPA conducted and completed a hydrogeological study and feasibility study in July 1989.

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, xylenes, and heavy metals, including lead. Soil was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and VOCs. The greatest health threat to people was through direct exposure to the contaminated groundwater moving offsite into nearby residential, livestock, and agricultural water supply wells. Trespassers were also at risk by accidentally ingesting, inhaling, or making direct contact with contaminated soil. 

Cleanup Progress

The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Record of Decision (ROD) to supplement the earlier decision document for the IRM was signed on September 28, 1989. The major components of the remedy included excavation of PCB-contaminated soil and soil flushing, installation of a groundwater pump and treatment system, and maintenance of vegetative cover. 

In 1990, EPA issued a unilateral administrative order (UAO) to the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to direct them to design and implement the selected actions described in the ROD. Excavation of PCB-contaminated soil was completed in November 1995 and a groundwater pump and treat system, which included soil flushing, began operation in May 1996. Adjustments and refinements to the operating portions of the remedy (i.e., pump and treat system) were conducted from late 1996 through late 1998.  On December 22, 2000, EPA approved a trial shutdown of the groundwater pump and treat system because groundwater data for the prior three years indicated that contaminant concentrations were consistently below cleanup goals. Additional groundwater monitoring has been performed.

A five-year review report was completed for the site on August 31, 2000.  In general, the report concluded that the remedy remains protective of human health and environment.  The report recommended the continued operation of the pump and treat system until the PRPs demonstrate that groundwater cleanup objectives have been achieved and a petition to cease operation of the system is approved by EPA. 

EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) on September 28, 2004. The ESD updated the groundwater clean-up endpoints and clarified institutional control requirements.  EPA evaluated follow-up groundwater data and issued the Final Closure Report for the site on February 21, 2007.  Additional groundwater sampling will be performed to verify that residual groundwater contaminant concentrations are at acceptable levels. 

The second five-year review was signed on September 14, 2010. The assessment of this review found that the remedy is considered to be protective of human health and the environment in the short-term. Long-term protectiveness will be determined when the monitoring indicates that all groundwater cleanup levels have been met.


Property Reuse

The property is now available for limited reuse.  However, groundwater use will continue to be restricted pending additional follow-up groundwater monitoring as part of the next Five-Year Review.  Taking the time for additional monitoring will allow EPA to ensure that residual contaminant levels are protective before groundwater is put back into potable use. 

In terms of access and land use, historical source areas can be developed, but residential and agricultural uses will be prohibited.  Because of the nature of waste disposal, this restriction on residential and agricultural uses will be put in place as a conservative measure to limit exposure to any waste that potentially was not identified despite extensive work done at the site.  Land usage in the remainder of the site will not be restricted.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
lolita hill (hill.lolita@epa.gov)
(312) 353-1621

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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