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Proposed Plan Fact Sheet

Public Meetings

The U.S. EPA will sponsor a publicmeeting to explain the Proposed Plan and all of the alternatives presented in the Feasibility Study Addendum. Oral and written comments will be accepted at the meeting.

Date: August 25, 1999
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Byron High School
Located on Tower Road
Cafeteria Commons Area

Public Comment Period

The U.S. EPA will accept written comments on the Proposed Plan and the other alternatives presented in the Feasibility Study Addendum during a 30-day public comment period: August 23 through September 21, 1999 A pre-addressed comment form is provided in this Proposed Plan.

Proposed Plan Byron Salvage Yard Superfund Site

Byron, Illinois August 1999

Table of contents


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has completed and approved a document called a Feasibility Study Addendum for the Byron Superfund Site in Byron, Illinois. The Feasibility Study Addendum supplements the results of the Feasibility Study (FS) completed for the site in July 1996. The intent of the FS Addendum was to develop new ground water alternatives and revise previous ground-water clean-up alternative costs.

This Proposed Plan (footnote 1) identifies the clean-up alternatives that have been considered by U.S. EPA to address the ground-water contamination at the site. The Remedial Investigation (RI) and FS Reports as well as the FS Addendum and other pertinent documents in the Administrative Record and Information Repositories should be consulted for details on the evaluation of the alternatives considered.

The objectives of the RI and FS were to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to evaluate alternatives to address threats or potential threats posed by the site.

Public input on U.S. EPA's recommended alternative and other alternatives is an important part of the clean-up remedy selection process. Based on new information obtained through public comment, the U.S. EPA may modify its recommended alternative or select another alternative. The public is encouraged to review and comment on all of the alternatives evaluated by the U.S. EPA.

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Site Location and Description

The site consists of the Byron Salvage Yard property and Dirk's Farm property. The contiguous properties are located in rural Ogle County in Northern Illinois, about halfway between the cities of Byron and Oregon, Illinois.

The property adjacent to the northeast boundary of the Byron Salvage Yard is Motorsport Park, a land tract used for motorcycle riding. The property adjacent to the southern boundary is privately owned. Commonwealth Edison Company owns the property southeast of the Byron Salvage Yard. Commonwealth Edison Company also owns the Dirk's Farm property to the west of the Byron Salvage Yard. Other parcels in the area owned by Commonwealth Edison Company include the Byron Nuclear Power Plant located southeast of the Byron Salvage Yard.

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Site History

In the 1960s, the Byron Salvage Yard was operated by Mr. Wilford Johnson as a junkyard where miscellaneous waste and debris were brought for disposal. Disposal activities continued until about 1972. Drums of electroplating wastes and other materials (oil sludges, paint sludges, cutting wheels, solvents, and scrap metal) were disposed of at the Byron Salvage Yard. Industrial wastes were reportedly dumped directly onto the ground during periods of heavy rainfall. The water would flow off the Byron Salvage Yard via surface water runoff into Woodland Creek. The contents of the drums found on the Byron Salvage Yard were handled in a variety of ways: wastes were pumped out of the drums by an oil/chemical salvage company and the drums and wastes were taken off site; wastes were dumped on the ground in the vicinity of ravines draining to the north; wastes were spread on the site and sprayed on nearby dirt roads for dust control; or wastes were left in drums, some of which rusted through, allowing their contents to leak out.

Similar dumping practices were also carried out during this time at the Dirk's Farm property. Industrial chemical wastes in 55-gallon drums were deposited at the Dirk's Farm property into gullies that drained to Woodland Creek and the Rock River. There were five primary disposal areas on the Dirk's Farm property, referred to as the North, South, Central, East, and West Disposal Areas, located 300 to 1,200 feet west of Razorville Road.

The discovery of these dumping practices prompted a series of regulatory actions that culminated in the site being placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1982. Various site investigations and clean-up activities have been carried out at both the Byron Salvage Yard and the Dirk's Farm properties since contamination was documented.

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Clean-up Actions Taken

A significant amount of clean-up work has already been done in connection with the site. The following is a brief chronology of the previous activities conducted:

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Risk Assessment Results

A baseline risk assessment was performed by the U.S. EPA in 1994. This Risk Assessment showed that an elevated or possibly an unacceptable risk occurs under current land use scenarios for trespassers who are both exposed to on-site contamination and also live at a home with contaminated ground water, dependent on the well location. An unacceptable risk occurs for those residents who consume contaminated ground water pumped from within boundaries of the contaminated ground-water plume that exceeds health standards. Under potential future land use scenarios, residents and construction workers could be exposed to contaminants that pose an unacceptable health risk. (All documents relating to the risk assessment at the site may be viewed at the information repositories listed on the back page of this Proposed Plan.)

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Site-Specific Clean-up Objectives

Preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) (i.e., clean-up goals) were developed to determine the contaminants of concern for the site. The contaminants of concern are constituents in the ground water or surface water which exceed the clean-up goals. The ground-water exposures were related to potential future development of the site and use of contaminated ground water for potable purposes.

The 1989 ROD which extended the existing municipal water line to additional residences also developed ACLs for the northwest plume coming from the salvage yard property. By furnishing those residents a clean water supply, MCLs for contaminants in water established pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act were not exceeded at the tap for those residents. In lieu of MCLs for the ground water, the U.S. EPA established ACLs for ground water as defined by CERCLA Section 121(d)(2)(B)(ii) and RCRA since:

These circumstances described in the 1989 ROD remain true today.

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Ground Water

The evaluation of the most recent ground-water monitoring and residential well sampling results and historical trends from sampling locations show ground water contaminants remain under the ACLs established for the northwest plume. In addition, contaminant levels remain under MCLs for the southwest plume originating from the Dirk's Farm property.

Ground-water data obtained during the investigations between 1990 and 1998, indicate that Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs), which are highly concentrated liquid sources, exist under the salvage yard. The existence of these sources will significantly extend the period of time for ground water in the salvage yard area to reach drinking water standards through natural processes or other active remediation methods. This has resulted in the reevaluation of the long term reliability of the existing municipal water line for the effected residents.

The remedial action objectives of ground water remain:

According to the NCP, Superfund remedies are expected to "return usable ground waters to their beneficial uses wherever practicable, within a timeframe that is reasonable given the particular circumstances of the site." Ground-water modeling was conducted to determine the effectiveness of various extraction and treatment options. The results of the modeling show that even with the most aggressive remediation methods, health-based drinking water standards could not be attained in the salvage yard within a reasonable time period due to the presence of DNAPL in this area. Because of the previous application of ACLs, the availability of a municipal water supply, the proximity of the river to which the contaminated aquifers discharge without significant impact, the fractured nature of the contaminated aquifers, it is proposed that, in this particular case, additional treatment of the source area of the plumes by groundwater extraction would not be practicable compared to ensuring the long-term reliability of potable water to residences between the site and the river.

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Surface Water

Site surface water has been sampled on numerous occasions since 1975. The early sampling focused on ponded surface water at the site. High concentrations of cyanide were detected in these samples; however, after the removal of contaminated surface soils at the site, subsequent sampling events have shown no elevated contaminant concentrations in on-site surface water.

Clean-up goals were not exceeded in the Rock River, Benesh Spring, or Benesh Quarry. At Meyers Spring, Trichloroethene (TCE) has consistently been detected at elevated concentrations, but the concentrations have been below levels adverse to aquatic life. TCE has not exceeded ACLs at on-site or off-site surface water locations within the boundaries of the northwest plume. Cyanide was detected in Meyers Spring. It is believed that this spring is hydrologically connected to the site via ground-water discharge, and therefore the TCE contamination within the spring is a result of site contamination. Concentrations of TCE and cyanide are decreasing in the surface water. Recent water and sediment sampling in Meyers Spring show cyanide concentrations below both the Illinois State Water Quality Standards and Ambient Water Quality Criteria. Based on current analytical data, it is assumed that no surface water cleanup is required, but that long-term monitoring is needed.

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Summary of Site Risks

The principal contaminants of concern at the site are VOCs in the ground water, such as TCE, Tetrachloroethene (PCE), 1,1 Dichloroethene (1-1 DCEE), 1,2- Dichloroethene (1,2-DCEA). Cyanide has also been found in the ground water.

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Summary of Alternatives: Water Supply Alternatives

Three water supply improvement alternatives were developed to address the long term reliability of the existing municipal water line.

The water supply improvement alternatives include elements common to all three alternatives, as follows:

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Water Supply Alternative 1 - Well, Booster Station, No River Crossing (Recommended Alternative).

Alternative 1 contains all the common elements as well as the following:

Water would be provided to the affected residents either directly from the new well or from the existing river crossing. Alternative 1 will maintain the water supply to the affected residents if either the existing river crossing or new well are down for repair or maintenance. This alternative is the least costly to implement because it does not provide the looped connection of the new well that is accomplished by an additional river or bridge crossing.

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Water Supply Alternative 2 - Well, Booster Station, Under River Crossing.

Alternative 2 contains all the common elements as well as the following:

Water would be provided to the affected residents either directly from the new well, from the existing river crossing, or from the proposed river crossing. Alternative 2 is also effective in maintaining the water supply to the affected residents if both the existing river crossing and new well are down for repair or maintenance.

The alternative is implementable, although special national and State of Illinois permits are necessary for the river crossing that may impact the construction schedule.

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Water Supply Alternative 3 - Well, Booster Station, Railroad Bridge Crossing.

Alternative 3 contains all of the common elements as well as the following:

Water would be provided to the affected residents either directly from the new well, from the existing river crossing, or from the proposed river crossing. Alternative 3 would effectively maintain the water supply to the affected areas if both the existing river crossing and new well are down for repair or maintenance. This alternative is the most difficult and costly to implement because of the need to obtain right-of-way agreements from the bridge owner to construct the crossing, facilitate repairs, and perform regular inspections.

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Summary of Alternatives: Ground-water Alternatives

To review the extraction and treatment alternatives previously considered for the site, see the March 1997 Proposed Plan Fact Sheet. The two monitoring alternatives previously considered in the March 1997 Proposed Plan have been updated due to changes in the type and frequency of the sampling.

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Alternative 1 - No Further Action.

The no action alternative is required per the National Continency Plan (NCP). Its purpose is to allow comparison of alternatives to the conditions that currently exist and that will likely exist in the future. Under this alternative, no action would be taken to protect human health and the environment.

Cost: $0

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Alternative 2 - Ground-water Monitoring and Institutional Controls, (Recommended Alternative).

The purpose of this alternative is to minimize or eliminate exposure to hazardous substances in the ground water by prohibiting future water well development and use of contaminated ground water. The major components of Alternative 2 are groundwater monitoring and institutional controls.

Ground-water monitoring would detect whether the northwest and southwest plume boundaries are changing and provide early indication of increasing contaminant concentrations that may require additional cleanup at existing wells downgradient of the site. Physical processes are expected to degrade contaminants. The ground-water monitoring program would require quarterly water level measurements and annual sampling of approximately 4 residential and 31 monitoring wells. Institutional controls would generally include an area bounded by Razorville Road, Spring Creek Road, and the Rock River. Regardless of future ownership considerations, restrictive covenants such as deed restrictions or advisories would be placed on properties potentially affected by the plume, prohibiting ground-water withdrawal for potable use until healthbased drinking water standards are attained. Because of the fractured bedrock it could take over 100 years to reach these standards. If any properties are sold, the deed would identify that ground water in the vicinity is contaminated or may be potentially affected.

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Alternative 3 - Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) and Institutional Controls.

The major components of this alternative are natural attenuation monitoring and institutional controls.

Alternative 3 would demonstrate that chemical, physical and biological processes are occurring to degrade contaminants. Monitoring is necessary to check that these processes are occurring. Institutional controls would prohibit/limit ground-water use until health-based drinking water standards have been attained. Again, because of the fractured bedrock it could take over 100 years to attain health-based drinking water standards.

The ground-water monitoring program would require the monitoring plan specified in Alternative 2 and a more extensive list of analytical parameters which results in a slightly higher cost. Institutional controls are the same as those outlined in Alternative 2.

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Evaluating the Alternatives

U.S. EPA used the following nine criteria to evaluate each of the alternatives described in the Proposed Plan.

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Threshold Criteria

Overall protection of human health and the environment determines whether an alternative eliminates, reduces, or controls threats to public health and the environment through institutional controls, engineering controls, or treatment.

Compliance with Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs) evaluates whether the alternative meets federal and state environmental statutes, regulations, and other requirements that pertain to the site or whether a waiver is justified.

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Balancing Criteria

Long-term effectiveness and permanence considers the ability of an alternative to maintain protection of human health and the environment over time and the reliability of such protection.

Reduction of contaminant toxicity, mobility, or volume through treatment evaluates an alternative's use of treatment to reduce the harmful effects of principal contaminants, their ability to move in the environment, and the amount of contamination present.

Short-term effectiveness considers the length of time needed to implement an alternative and the risks the alternative poses to workers, residents, and the environment during implementation.

Implementability considers the technical and administrative feasi- bility of implementing the alternative, such as relative availability of goods and services.

Cost includes estimated capital and operation and maintenance costs, as well as present worth costs. Present worth cost is the total cost of an alternative over time in terms of today's dollar value.

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Modify Criteria

State acceptance considers whether the State agrees with U.S. EPA's analyses and recommendations of the RI/ FS and the Proposed Plan.

Community acceptance will be addressed in the ROD. The ROD will include a responsiveness summary that presents public comments and U.S. EPA responses to those comments. Acceptance of the recommended alternative will be evaluated after the public comment period.

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The recommended alternatives can change in response to public comment or new information. Based on information currently available, the U.S. EPA believes the combination of Water Supply Alternative 1 and Ground Water Alternative 2 provide the best balance of tradeoffs among the other alternatives with respect to the evaluation criteria. The U.S. EPA expects the recommended alternatives to satisfy the statutory requirement in CERCLA section 121 (b) to: 1) be protective of human health and the environment; 2) comply with ARARs; 3) be cost-effective; 4) utilize permanent solutions to the maximum extent practicable. The recommended alternatives do not satisfy the preference for treatment as a principal element for the contaminated ground water, but in this particular case, additional remediation of the ground water would not be sufficient or practicable compared to providing potable water to the affected residents.

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The Next Step

The U.S. EPA will consider public comments received during the public comment period (August 23 through September 21, 1999) before selecting a final cleanup plan for the contaminated ground water at the site. All comments received during the public comment period will be addressed in a Responsiveness Summary, which will be included in the ROD. The ROD is the document that will outline the final cleanup plan.

After the final action is chosen, U.S. EPA will meet with the parties believed responsible for the site contamination. Following negotiations, the final action will be designed and implemented. If these parties are unable to negotiate an agreement with U.S. EPA, or are unwilling to do the cleanup activities, U.S. EPA may unilaterally order the parties to do the work or Superfund monies may be used to pay for the final action. U.S. EPA may try to recover these costs in federal court.

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For Additional Information

If you would like additional information about the Byron Salvage Yard Superfund site, the Feasibility Study and Feasibility Study Addendum, as well as other site-related documents, are available for review at the following site information repositories

Ogle County Public Health Department
Ogle County Court House
104 South Fifth Street
Oregon, Illinois 61061

Byron Public Library
109 North Franklin Street
Byron, Illinois 61010

An Administrative Record, which contains all of the information upon which the selection of the cleanup plan will be based, also has been established at the Information Repositories and at the U.S. EPA Region 5 office in Chicago. For additional information, please contact:

U.S. EPA Contacts

Community Involvement Coordinator
Janet Pope (pope.janet@epa.gov)
312-353-0628 or 800-621-8431, ext.30628

Thomas Short, SR-6J
Remedial Project Manager
(312) 353-8826

U.S. EPA Region 5
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604
Toll Free: 1-800-621-8431 (9 am -4:30 pm CS/DT, weekdays)

State Contacts

Greg Ratliff
Illinois EPA
1021 N. Grand Ave, East
Springfield, IL 62794
(217) 782-9882

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