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Congressional District # 13


EPA ID# ILN000508246
Last Updated: January, 2010

Site Description

The Ellsworth Industrial Park site is located in Downers Grove, DuPage County, Illinois.  The Ellsworth Industrial Park was built in the late 1950's and currently consists of approximately 135 businesses.  Surrounding properties encompass residential, recreational, and commercial/light industrial properties. The businesses that currently occupy the industrial park and the surrounding areas perform a broad range of activities.  The approximate boundaries of the overall site are Burlington Avenue to the north, 63rd Street to the south, Lee and Springside Avenues to the east, and Interstate 355 (I-355) to the west.  The overall site has been subdivided into two units:  Operable Unit 1 (OU1) and Operable Unit 2 (OU2).  OU1 consists primarily of the soils of industrial park proper.  This unit also includes groundwater present in shallow discontinous lenses.  OU2 consists of the groundwater present in the bedrock aquifer, which has also been detected in benath the residential areas outside (south and west) of the Ellsworth Industrial Park.  OU1 (the Ellsworth Industrial Park) is bordered on the north by Burlington Avenue; on the south by Elmore and Inverness Avenues; on the east by Belmont Avenue; and on the west by I-355.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible parties' (PRPs') actions.  According to a settlement with PRPs for the remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) of Operable Unit 1, EPA is conducting the RI/FS.  Following document review by the settling parties, the RI/FS reports will be available for public comment along with a proposed cleanup plan.  

Threats and Contaminants

Soils and groundwater are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including perchloroethylene (PCE); trichloroethylene (TCE); 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and other VOCs.  U.S. EPA, in coordination with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), is in the process of assessing the extent of the contamination, the risks it may pose, and cleanup alternatives.

Cleanup Progress

A number of past investigations have been conducted related to the Ellsworth Industrial Park site (both within and surrounding the Industrial Park) by federal, state, municipal, and private property owners.  Listed below is a brief overview of these activities:

Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study

In April 2006, the U.S. EPA reached an agreement with the PRP group to cash-out and allow the U.S. EPA to carry-out the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS).  The cost of the settlement was approximately $1,000,000.  The RI field activities were conducted between October 2006 and February 2007.  The RI consisted of the following activities:

Site Reconnaissance Summary:

The building inspections were conducted at 33 properties and consisted of a visual inspection of building interiors and determination of locations for sub-slab passive gas sampling.  The sub-slab passive gas sampling was conducted on the 33 properties, including use of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) scans for buried utilities and concrete coring prior to sampler installation.  A total of 100 passive gas samples were collected and submitted for VOC analysis.  The utility corridor sampling was conducted within sanitary sewer manholes and storm sewer catchment basins.  A total of 69 utility corridor samples were collected and submitted for VOC analysis.

Geological Investigation Summary:

The soil investigation consisted of advancing 22 soil borings beneath 10 buildings and 151 soil borings at 22 properties outside of buildings, and sampling from 75 additional borings conducted as part of the groundwater investigation.  GPR and concrete boring were conducted inside buildings prior to soil sampling.  The borings conducted as part of the soil investigation resulted in:

As part of the groundwater investigation, soil samples were also taken from 75 borings conducted at 18 properties, including:

Hydrogeological Investigation Summary:

Monitoring wells were installed in the unconsolidated geologic deposits (sands and silts) at the site at 26 borings at a shallow depth and 30 borings at an intermediate depth.  Ten of these wells were nested pairs in the same location.  In addition, nine deeper monitoring wells were installed in bedrock.   Sampling and testing included:

The results of the RI sampling have been analyzed and are being documented in an RI Report. The collected data are also being used in a baseline risk assessment which provides an evaluation of the potential threat to human health and the environment in the absence of any remedial action.  Based on the RI Report and risk analysis, U.S. EPA conducts a Feasibility Study which includes development of alternatives to address the contamination, and a detailed analysis of those alternatives.   U.S. EPA is currently working on the RI Report, the Baseline Risk Assessment, and the Feasibility Study and they are planned to be completed in 2012.  Concurrently, U.S. EPA is assessing the potential for early actions which could be taken to reduce risk more quickly. 

Community Involvement

From early on, public involvement and participation has been strong.  As a result of U.S. EPA support and funding, a Community Advisory Group (CAG) was formed to represent the interests of the community.  The CAG remained very involved in all ongoing negotiations and eventual settlement agreement with the PRP group, and will continue to be involved when the draft Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study are released for review.


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



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