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Fact Sheet

June 2013

Public Meeting to Announce Proposed Plan and Public Comment Period for the Peoples Natural Gas Superfund Site, Dubuque, Dubuque County, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is releasing a Proposed Plan for a revised remedy for the Peoples Natural Gas Site in Dubuque, Iowa.

EPA will hold a 30-day public comment period and encourages the public to review the Proposed Plan and make comments. A final decision on the Proposed Plan will not be made until EPA reviews public comments.


The public comment period for the Proposed Plan is:

June 26 - July 25, 2013

The public may submit their comments to EPA prior to the close of the comment period by submitting them to Ben Washburn, Community Involvement Coordinator, via telephone, mail or email at the addresses listed below.


EPA will also host a public meeting to allow the public to submit comments on the Proposed Plan, as well as answer questions residents may have about EPA cleanup actions.

The public meeting will be held:

Monday, July 8, 2013
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carnegie-Stout Public Library
360 W. 11th St.
Dubuque, Iowa

EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the meeting, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper, at 800-223-0425 or cooper.jonathan@epa.gov. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should email or call using the local relay service.


The preferred remedy presented in the Proposed Plan is institutional controls with a hydraulic containment system consisting of groundwater extraction wells located between Kerper Boulevard and the levee to prevent migration of contaminated groundwater. The objective of the hydraulic containment system is to control the movement of contaminated water, not to remove all of the contamination from the silty sand aquifer, because it has been determined through extensive investigation that it is not technically feasible to do so. Institutional controls, in the form of environmental covenants and an ordinance, would place limitations on the uses of the affected properties and the installation of wells.

Natural attenuation would continue to reduce contaminant concentrations in the dissolved plume supporting plume stability. Monitoring would verify that this was occurring.


The Site is the location of a former manufactured gas plant that operated from approximately the 1930s to 1954. Aboveground structures were dismantled in 1957. During operation of the plant, coal tar and cyanide-bearing wood chips were produced and stored on-site.

Coal tar, a by-product of gas production, was stored in one underground tank and one aboveground tank on the Site. Coal tar is a mixture of compounds including polynuclear aromatic compounds and volatile organic compounds, particularly benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes. The wood chips were buried on the eastern portion of the Site.

Contamination at the Site was first identified during a geotechnical investigation conducted by the Iowa Department of Transportation in preparation for construction of a new section of U.S. Highway 61 across the western portion of the Site. Subsequent investigations performed by EPA and MidAmerican Energy Company, a responsible party for the Site, determined the nature and extent of contamination at the Site.

On August 30, 1990, EPA listed the Site on the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the U.S. and its territories.


EPA encourages the community to review the Administrative Record, which contains information about past cleanup activities and next steps. The Administrative Record is available during normal business hours at the following locations:

EPA Records Center
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, Kan.

Carnegie-Stout Public Library
360 W. 11th St.
Dubuque, Iowa

Questions or requests for information can be submitted to:

Ben Washburn
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Toll-free: (800) 223-0425
Email: washburn.ben@.epa.gov

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