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Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site

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Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (leon.heriberto@epa.gov)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163

On-Scene Coordinator
Steven Faryan (faryan.steven@epa.gov)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351

Community Relations Coordinator Illinois EPA
Mara McGinnis
Office of Community Relations
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794

Remedial Project Manager
Illinois EPA

Jeffrey J. Guy
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL

ATSDR Representative
Claudine Samanic

Director of Environmental Health
LaSalle County Health
Ted Pumo, LEHP
815-433-3366, ext. 223

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EPA and Illinois EPA have been working in Wedron, Ill., to determine which private drinking water wells have been affected by pollution. The agencies are also investigating potential sources of the groundwater contamination. “Groundwater” is an environmental term for underground supplies of fresh water.

In 2011, residents of Wedron reported gasoline odors from their water. As a result, the Illinois Department of Public Health collected groundwater samples in October 2011 and found two homes with benzene levels above the health standard. In November 2011, the LaSalle County Health Department told these residents to no longer drink or use their well water. Illinois EPA then contacted EPA, which began the current investigation.

Beginning in December 2011, EPA collected groundwater samples from 22 residential wells and one commercial well in the town. These samples were tested for the presence of a family of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds and metals.

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Site Update

April 2015

Two reports are final - In 2014, three reports on investigations of possible sources of soil and groundwater contamination in Wedron were submitted to EPA:

llinois Railway will submit an updated report to U.S. EPA. It will include results from additional investigation that EPA asked Illinois Railway to perform this winter at locations on its property where underground storage tanks were located. The additional investigation was needed to fully characterize soil and groundwater contamination found during the initial investigation on Illinois Railway property. EPA expects to work with Illinois Railway to finalize the report within the next few months.

Wedron Silica Company also performed additional investigation on its property during the winter to further characterize contamination identified at a former UST area. Illinois EPA is reviewing the investigation results and will oversee any potential clean-up of the former UST area under its leaking underground storage tank program.

Next steps - U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA will consolidate all the investigation results to identify potential sources of contamination in Wedron. Then the agencies will work to identify remediation technologies and cleanup options.

Well sampling - U.S. EPA, LaSalle County Health Department and Illinois EPA have agreed on a sampling plan to sample private wells in Wedron until at least 2016. The LaSalle County Health Department will collect the next round of samples later this spring; Illinois EPA will analyze the samples.

Illinois EPA is also working this year to have a contractor perform a pumping test of the lower aquifer in Wedron to better understand hydraulic properties of the lower aquifer to help identify whether the lower aquifer will support potential additional new wells.

Air monitoring - In February 2015, Wedron Silica Company and Technisand began a U.S. EPA-approved air monitoring program for particulate matter to provide data on dust leaving the companies’ operations. The air monitoring for particulate matter will continue in Wedron for one year with U.S. EPA oversight.

Past Site Updates

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Site History

In April 1982, Illinois EPA began a groundwater investigation in Wedron after the Illinois Department of Public Health received complaints from several residents of gasoline-type odors in their private well water. Illinois EPA collected groundwater samples from several private wells in April 1982, June 1983 and August 1983 and confirmed the presence of chemicals found in gasoline. At that time, a new deeper well was drilled to provide clean drinking water to the affected homes. In addition, an investigation of several potential sources of contamination was completed, but no source was found.

Site Description

The site is the unincorporated community of Wedron located in LaSalle County, Ill.  The site is located in a mixed rural, residential, and industrial area. North of the site are residential homes, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  To the east are the Fox River, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  To the south are the Wedron Silica sand-mining facility and mining pits; and to the west are two Wedron Silica quarries, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  Current and former commercial and industrial properties known at the site include the Fairmount Minerals Ltd., Wedron Silica Mining Co., Illinois Railway railroad company, the former Hoxsey gas station, and the former W.D. Grain Co.

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