Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site
Meeting and Open House
Wednesday, Sept. 18
Public Meeting 5-6 p.m.
Open House 6-7 p.m.
Serena High School Cafeteria
2283 N. 3812th Road
Public Meeting Printable Flier (PDF) (1p, 89K) Sept. 2013
Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (firstname.lastname@example.org)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163
Steven Faryan (email@example.com)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351
Bureau of Land Representative Illinois EPA
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
U.S. EPA plans to begin work this month to install individual replacement wells for eight private drinking water wells currently contaminated with benzene. The federal Agency is awaiting approvals from the LaSalle County Health Department before beginning the work.
The Agency also plans to install five additional monitoring wells in Wedron to further define the extent of the groundwater contamination plume and help determine sources of contamination. Based on the results of the soil gas sampling that we completed this summer, we will conduct limited vapor intrusion monitoring in 3-4 homes in coordination with ATSDR this fall.
U.S. EPA has reached agreements in principle with BP, Illinois Railway, Lockheed Martin, Technisand, and Wedron Silica Company to perform investigations in Wedron that will help the Agency identify potential sources of the contamination to the soil and groundwater. We anticipate finalizing the Administrative Orders on Consent and Work Plans in September 2013 so the investigations can begin in October 2013. The Agency is using its authority under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for these investigations. In addition, as part of an information request from the EPA under the Clean Air Act, Wedron Silica Company and Technisand are working with EPA to install air monitors in Wedron to study the impact of blowing sand in Wedron.
Illinois EPA is installing three monitoring wells on the Hoxsey property in September to further investigate the Hoxsey property as a potential source of the groundwater contamination. IEPA is coordinating this effort with U.S. EPA and is using state funds to pay for the investigation.
The EPA has completed a community involvement plan (CIP) (PDF)(37pp, 283K), to enhance communication between local residents and EPA as the investigation and cleanup at the site progress. EPA invites everyone to provide comments about the plan to Heriberto Leon, Community Involvement Coordinator.
Last year, EPA sampled all but two of the 45 homes in Wedron. EPA is trying to get access to the remaining two properties. Nine homes tested positive for volatile organic compounds, including benzene, and these residents were offered bottled water. In addition, EPA’s contractor installed filtration systems in these homes in February 2013.
Since last October, EPA has hosted community meetings every two months, and the most recent meeting was on April 3. Health officials from the CDC’s Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have joined us at meetings and are a resource for residents with health concerns. The next EPA event will be an open house scheduled for early June, and it will be advertised on our website.
This spring and summer EPA will continue efforts to investigate the sources of contamination and explore options for a long-term solution. These efforts include:
- Plans to conduct vapor intrusion sampling in homes in early May to determine whether indoor air is being impacted by the contamination.
- Evaluating locations for two new semi-private deep wells that would serve the nine homes with contaminated wells.
- Overseeing a groundwater study being voluntarily conducted by Fairmont Minerals this spring.
- Continuing to work with Illinois EPA, which is conducting a soil investigation at the Hoxsey property in May 2013.
July and August 2012
In July 2012, EPA and Illinois EPA collected soil samples from 18 locations in Wedron using a special drilling rig called a geoprobe that can collect samples beneath soil surface. The results of the soil sampling also showed elevated levels of the VOCs benzene, chloroform, ethylbenzene, and xylenes. This investigation also identified several potential sources of the groundwater and soil contamination.
Also in July 2012, EPA, Illinois EPA and the Illinois Fire Marshal’s office oversaw the excavation and removal of an underground tank that was uncovered during a rail expansion along the Illinois Railway tracks bordering N. 2153 Road (LaSalle County 11). Illinois Railway hired a contractor to remove the liquid in the tank, clean the tank and remove the affected soil.
EPA oversaw an investigation conducted by Hoxsey property owners in August 2012 at the former Hoxsey gas station to determine if underground tanks or piping are still present. The investigation identified piping from the tanks on the property, but did not find tanks still underground. An additional investigation was set to be conducted by Illinois EPA at this property.
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.
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.
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site
- Basic Information about the Superfund Program
- Frequent questions about the Superfund Program
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