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Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site

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Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (leon.heriberto@epa.gov)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163

On-Scene Coordinator
Steven Faryan (faryan.steven@epa.gov)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351

Community Relations Coordinator Illinois EPA
Mara McGinnis
(Mara.McGinnis@Illinois.gov)
Office of Community Relations
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794
217-524-3288

Remedial Project Manager
Illinois EPA

John Richardson
(John.Richardson@Illinois.gov)
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL
217-782-0243

ATSDR Representative
Claudine Samanic
(samanic.claudine@epa.gov)
312-353-4766

Director of Environmental Health
LaSalle County Health
Department
Ted Pumo, LEHP
(tpumo@lasallecounty.org)
815-433-3366, ext. 223

On this page:

Background

EPA and Illinois EPA have been working in Wedron, Ill., to determine which private drinking water wells have been affected by pollution. The agencies are also investigating potential sources of the groundwater contamination. “Groundwater” is an environmental term for underground supplies of fresh water.

In 2011, residents of Wedron reported gasoline odors from their water. As a result, the Illinois Department of Public Health collected groundwater samples in October 2011 and found two homes with benzene levels above the health standard. In November 2011, the LaSalle County Health Department told these residents to no longer drink or use their well water. Illinois EPA then contacted EPA, which began the current investigation.

Beginning in December 2011, EPA collected groundwater samples from 22 residential wells and one commercial well in the town. These samples were tested for the presence of a family of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds and metals.

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Site Update

November 2014

U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA have provided comments on reports for investigations of possible sources of soil and groundwater contamination in Wedron. Three reports were submitted to EPA:  one from Illinois Railway, one from BP, and one from Lockheed Martin, Technisand, and Wedron Silica Company.  EPA expects to work with these companies to finalize the reports in the next few months.

U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA are working together and coordinating their oversight of investigations of benzene and other volatile organic chemical contamination at the Wedron Groundwater site. Wedron Silica Company will perform additional investigation on its property in November 2014 to further characterize contamination identified at a former underground storage tank (UST) area.  U.S. EPA has also asked Illinois Railway to perform additional investigation at locations on its property where USTs were located.  These investigations are needed to fully characterize soil and groundwater contamination found during the initial investigations.  After the additional investigations are completed, the agencies will work to identify potential long-term remediation solutions.

U.S. EPA also approved a work plan from Wedron Silica Company and Technisand to conduct air monitoring in Wedron for one year.  The monitoring will provide data on dust leaving the companies’ operations.

Past Site Updates

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Site History

In April 1982, Illinois EPA began a groundwater investigation in Wedron after the Illinois Department of Public Health received complaints from several residents of gasoline-type odors in their private well water. Illinois EPA collected groundwater samples from several private wells in April 1982, June 1983 and August 1983 and confirmed the presence of chemicals found in gasoline. At that time, a new deeper well was drilled to provide clean drinking water to the affected homes. In addition, an investigation of several potential sources of contamination was completed, but no source was found.

Site Description

The site is the unincorporated community of Wedron located in LaSalle County, Ill.  The site is located in a mixed rural, residential, and industrial area. North of the site are residential homes, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  To the east are the Fox River, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  To the south are the Wedron Silica sand-mining facility and mining pits; and to the west are two Wedron Silica quarries, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  Current and former commercial and industrial properties known at the site include the Fairmount Minerals Ltd., Wedron Silica Mining Co., Illinois Railway railroad company, the former Hoxsey gas station, and the former W.D. Grain Co.

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