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Congressional District # 19


EPA ID# ILD981781065
Last Updated: June, 2015

Site Description

The Central Illinois Public Service Company site (CIPS) is located in Christian County, Illinois. The site is slightly less than one acre and is located in the city of Taylorville, a community of approximately 11,000 people. A manufactured gas plant operated on the site from 1892 until 1932. The coal gasification process produced a by-product called coal tar. Coal tar is a mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) like naphthalene and benzo(a)pyrene. As a result of operations, coal tar contaminated the soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment around the site. Investigations identified a plume of contaminated groundwater migrated approximately 700 feet off-site. Nearly 500 residents within a one-mile radius of the site use the aquifer for potable water. Additional groundwater investigation indicated that four out of 22 homes were contaminated with compounds associated with coal tar.

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

The soil and groundwater below the site are contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, naphthalene, fluorene, and other PAHs, and VOCs that include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene. Surface water runoff has transported contaminants off-site. Sediment in a private pond located downstream from the site is contaminated with PAHs. A risk assessment conducted at the site concluded that the site does not present an immediate threat to human health. However, future residential use of the groundwater may present an unacceptable health risk. Exposure to surface water and ingestion of fish from the Seaman Estate Pond may pose a significant-increased cancer risk.

Cleanup Progress

In January 1987, CIPS removed approximately 12,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site. In October 1987, CIPS provided a permanent alternative water supply to approximately 20 residences. The Site was listed on the National Priorities List in June 1988. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) signed a Record of Decision (ROD) in September 1992 to select a final cleanup action for the CIPS Site. The cleanup action included pumping and treating groundwater until it is restored to drinking water standards. CIPS completed the construction of the Groundwater Pump and Treat Plant in February 1995; it was construction complete in October 1995.  

In September 2005, the Illinois EPA signed an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to document changes to the 1992 ROD for the CIPS Site. These changes allowed Ameren CIPS (formerly known as CIPS) to conduct a pilot study on an alternate treatment method in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the length of operation time of the current groundwater pump and treat system. The U.S. EPA has completed four five-year reviews of the Ameren CIPS Site since March 1999. The last (Fourth) Five-Year Review Report completed on June 23, 2014 concluded that the remedy is protective of human health and the environment because the removal of the contaminated soil and site fence effectively protects human health from exposure to soil contaminant at the Site. The operation of the groundwater pump-and-treat system, in conjunction with the alternate water supply limits exposure to contaminated groundwater. The next five-year review of the site is due in June 2019.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nanjunda gowda (gowda.nanjunda@epa.gov)
(312) 353-9236

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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