Southeast Rockford Ground Water Contamination Site
Community Involvement Coordinator
Susan Pastor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
312-353-1325 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31325
Remedial Project Manager
312-353-4367 or 800-621-8431, ext. 34367
Assistant Regional Counsel
Illinois EPA Community Relations Coordinator
Michelle D. Tebrugge (email@example.com)
Illinois EPA Project Manager
(where to view written records)
Rockford Public Library
3128 S. 11th St.
Rockford Public Library
215 N. Wyman St.
This Superfund site consists of an approximately 7.5-square-mile area in southeastern portion of the city of Rockford. Ground water investigations performed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency between 1981 and 1988 showed that many private and municipal wells were contaminated at levels higher than federal health standards. Further investigations determined that the contaminants were used by local industries and were released into the environment from storage tanks and improper disposal practices.
In 1989, residents with high ground water contamination in their drinking water wells were given bottled water by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a temporary measure and the site was added to EPA's National Priorities List. In order to provide residents with a permanent supply of uncontaminated drinking water, EPA hooked up 547 homes to Rockford's municipal water system in 1991.
As the result of a cooperative agreement with the State of Illinois, the Illinois EPA is the lead agency for the cleanup of three sources of the ground water contamination in southeast Rockford:
- Area 4 (near Harrison Avenue and Marshall Street),
- Area 7 (Ekberg Pine Manor Park at the east end of Balsam Lane) and
- Area 11 (northeast corner of Eleventh Street and Harrison Avenue).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the lead agency for the one source of ground water contamination, Area 9/10.
Most of Area 9/10 is located on the property of the Hamilton Sunstrand Plant near the corner of Eleventh Street and Harrison Avenue. Historically, Area 9/10 has been used for industrial activity since about 1926 when the Rockford Milling Machine and Rockford Tool companies merged to become the Sundstrand Machine Tool Company.
You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
Earlier this year, EPA contractors drilled about 50 borings along side streets in southeast Rockford – south of 21st Avenue, north of Sandy Hollow Road, east of South Alpine Road and west of the Rock River. All drillings were done in city rights-of-way. Deep soil vapor samples were collected to find out if they pose a possible risk to residents. The results should be available this summer.
EPA has determined that the municipal water provided to homes in 1991 is protecting residents’ health and the environment. However, more information needs to be collected regarding the ground water cleanup.
To follow up on a 2013 status review of the site, EPA also plans to study the nearby Rock River to see if wildlife is being harmed by the discharge of contaminated ground water into the river. This summer/fall, area residents and visitors to Blackhawk Park may notice EPA staff and contractors in boats taking water samples along a 2-mile stretch of shoreline heading south from South Springfield Avenue to Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Highway (U.S. Hwy 20).
EPA completed its status review in May 2013. 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 evaluated:
- Background information and cleanup requirements
- Current cleanup actions
- Effectiveness of the cleanup
- Future actions
- Maintenance and monitoring efforts
The next scheduled review will be in 2018.
Finally, EPA and Illinois EPA (along with the city of Rockford) will continue to evaluate which homes and businesses still use private wells and continue to offer them city water. Both environmental agencies and the city are concerned about the people who previously refused city water hookups because they may be drinking contaminated water. EPA has asked the city to study possible approaches that would notify potential home buyers of the site’s ground water contamination if current property owners continue to decline city water hookups.
When these measures are implemented and the cleanup actions are completed, the site will be considered “protective.”
- EPA Announces Changes to Cleanup Plan for Superfund Site (PDF) (2pp, 268K) March 2009
- Explanation of Significant Differences (PDF) (20pp, 870K) February 2009
- 2002 Record of Decision (PDF) (133pp, 845K) June 2002
- 1995 Record of Decision (PDF) (42pp, 92K) September 1995
- 1991 Record of Decision (PDF) (51pp, 172K) June 1991
- Consent Decree - July 2008 (PDF) (94pp, 2.8MB) July 2008 The 2008 Consent Decree is very large, so attachments are not included here. Please visit the local site information repository to review them or contact Assistant Regional Counsel Tom Turner (link to his email) and he will send you copies on CD/DVD.
- Consent Decree - August 2006 (PDF) (154 pp, 2.2MB) August 2006
- Consent Decree - June 2006 (PDF) (220 pp, 4MB) June 2006
- Second Amendment to the Consent Decree (PDF) (14 pp, 267K) September 2001
- Amended Consent Decree - September 1998 (PDF) (59 pp, 773K) September 1998
- Consent Decree - April 1998 (PDF) (92 pp, 1.3MB) April 1998
- Fourth five-year review (PDF) (79pp, 3.81MB) May 2013
- Third five-year review (PDF) (66pp, 2.2MB) May 2008
- Second five-year review (PDF) (79pp, 573K) May 2003
- First five-year review (PDF) (3pp, 19K) November 1998