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Congressional District # 15


EPA ID# ILD000814673
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The former Velsicol Chemical Corp. (Illinois) manufacturing facility is located in east central Illinois at the northern edge of the City of Marshall, Clark County, Illinois. The population of Clark County in 2007 was approximately 17,000 and that of Marshall in 2006 was approximately 3,700.
The plant had been operating since the mid-1930's for the production of petroleum derivatives from petroleum by-products, including a variety of resins, solvents, and rubber extenders. Production of chlordane began in the mid-1940s. The manufacturing operations at the facility remained essentially unchanged until 1979, at which time Velsicol withdrew from the resin market. Manufacture of technical grade chlordane was the sole product at the facility after 1980. In August 1987 U.S. EPA announced an agreement that Velsicol was to stop selling chlordane until it could devise application techniques that would not contaminate houses. In 1988 Velsicol announced that it would cease manufacturing operations at the Marshall facility in August 1988.

Velsicol's property occupies an area of approximately 270 acres, of which 86 acres were utilized for the production facility and onsite ponds. The former production facility occupied approximately 50 acres of the easterly portion of the plant area. Immediately west of the production facility, 14 acres were devoted to storm water management ponds (2 Pond, 4 Pond and North Storm Water Pond). All process wastewater (since 1965) and all surface water from the facility (since 1974) had been deep-well injected onsite. The 5/6 Pond occupied an area of approximately 22 acres and contained the majority of waste solids and sludges that were generated over the plant's lifetime, until 1980. These wastes were chemically stabilized, temporarily covered with clay, and revegetated by Velsicol in the early 1980s.

The major portion of the remaining acres owned by Velsicol has been leased for crop farming. An unnamed tributary to East Mill Creek flows westerly through the southwestern corner of the site. The tributary travels approximately 2.5 miles prior to its confluence with East Mill Creek.

Site Responsibility

The State of Illinois, through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), with enforcement assistance by U.S. EPA, is currently conducting oversight of the remedial work being implemented by the potentially responsible party (PRP).

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater was contaminated with various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pesticides. Sediments and onsite soils were contaminated with VOCs, pesticides, and cadmium. Elevated concentrations of pesticides were detected in fish. Prior to remediating the site, adverse health effects existed for people who accidentally ingested or came into direct contact with contaminated soil, sediments, or groundwater, or ate contaminated fish. The immediate threats at the site have been addressed.

Cleanup Progress

Velsicol, the PRP, has completed the construction work for the remedial action required under the consent decree (CD). Velsicol closed two wells between September and November 1989. Deep disposal well No. 2 was not closed until December 1993 after it was decided that it was no longer needed. Six inches of sediment were excavated from the base and side slopes of the 2 Pond and 4 Pond. The ponds were backfilled, using decontaminated, decommissioning debris and clean soil. Velsicol graded the pond area to provide effective surface water drainage, and a vegetated cover has been placed over all regraded areas.

The PRP excavated contaminated soil within the facility, backfilled with clean soil, regraded and established a vegetated cover over all regraded areas. Velsicol excavated sediments in two unnamed tributaries and consolidated and stabilized all excavated material from the facility, the unnamed tributary, the 2 Pond, the 4 Pond, and the construction of a collection drain on the east side of the 5/6 pond in the 5/6 Pond. A composite low-permeability engineered cap was installed on the 5/6 Pond. During cleanup activities, all potentially contaminated surface water was disposed of by injecting into the existing deep disposal well No. 2. Groundwater is being collected by the collection drain for subsequent treatment and discharge to the sanitary sewer in accordance with terms of the CD.

A third five-year review was completed for the site on September 10, 2008. The review concluded that the remedy is protective of human health and the environment in the short term because exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled and deed restrictions, in conjunction with the continued operation of the groundwater collection and treatment system, are currently preventing exposure to, or the ingestion of, contaminated groundwater. However, U.S. EPA also determined that the deed restrictions then in place required revisions to more clearly identify the boundaries of the restricted areas. In October 2008 the "Restatement and Clarification of Deed Restrictions" was recorded with the county and this satisfied this recommendation. An additional commitment from the PRP is to be provided to increase the protectiveness of the institutional controls.

A fourth five-year review was completed for the site on September 9, 2013.  The review concluded that the remedy is protective of human health and the environment in both the short and long term.  The long term protectiveness continues to be predicate on the continued operation of the remedy and enforcement of the institutional controls.

Property Reuse

The PRP, who is the property owner, has been actively looking for parties who may be able to use the property.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
erik hardin (hardin.erik@epa.gov)
(312) 886-2402

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
teresa jones
(312) 886-0725




Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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