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Cross Brothers Pail Recycling

Site Information
Contact Information

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

Remedial Project Manager

Lolita Hill
312-353-1621 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31621


(where to view written records)

Kankakee Public Library
303 S. Indiana Road
Kankakee, IL


The Cross Brothers National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund site is located near Momence, Pembroke Township, Illinois. Currently, Cross Brothers is operating a wood pallet reclamation facility on its 20-acre parcel of land. The site is situated within a semi-residential area, interspersed with farm and undeveloped pasture land which is located four miles south of the Kankakee River. Cross Brothers operated a pail and drum reclamation business at the site from 1961 to 1980. The reclamation operation consisted of placing drums and pails containing dye, ink, and paint residue onto the ground, allowing the contents to drain. Waste solvents were then poured over the containers to dissolve the remaining residue prior to reconditioning the drums. In 1980, the site was discovered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), based on an aerial survey. Subsequently, the Illinois Attorney General's office obtained a court order in August 1980, requiring the site to be cleaned up and closed. Based on the results of the local private water supply sampling, two home owners north of the site were advised by IEPA to obtain alternate sources of water. The site owner provided them with deeper wells. Further sampling indicated the presence of surficial and buried waste and a groundwater contaminant plume. IEPA conducted interim remedial measures (IRM) in 1985 to clear the disposal area of vegetation and remove 6,500 tons of contaminated surficial soil, 60 tons of crushed pails, 550 drums contained wastes, and 580 empty drums. Further work was needed; therefore, IEPA conducted and completed a hydrogeological study and feasibility study in July 1989.

This site is being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Groundwater was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, xylenes, and heavy metals, including lead. Soil was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and VOCs. The greatest health threat to people was through direct exposure to the contaminated groundwater moving offsite into nearby residential, livestock, and agricultural water supply wells. Trespassers were also at risk by accidentally ingesting, inhaling, or making direct contact with contaminated soil.

Site Updates | Latest Update || Technical Documents || Five-Year Reviews

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Site Updates

March 2015

EPA will begin a status review of the Cross Brothers Pail Recycling (Pembroke) cleanup. This type of review is required at least every five years where the cleanup is complete but hazardous waste remains managed on-site. These reviews are done to ensure that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment.

The review will include an evaluation of background information, cleanup requirements, effectiveness of the cleanup and any anticipated future actions, and monitoring efforts. The five year review should be completed by the end of June 2015.


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