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Congressional District # 12


EPA ID# ILD006282479
Last Updated: September, 2011

Site Description

The Jennison-Wright Corporation site includes approximately 20 acres of land, within the corporate boundaries of Granite City, Madison County, Illinois.  The site is in a low income, mixed industrial/residential neighborhood.  The population within one mile of the site is 31,280.  Facility operations began prior to 1920 and continued until 1989.

Beginning in about 1920, the Jennison-Wright site was used by facilities that engaged in wood treatment of railroad ties and wood blocks, using creosote, pentachlorophenol, and zinc naphthenate.  Most of these activities occurred on the southern portion of the site.  The southern portion of the site also had a railcars and a variety of tanks that contained wastes, several waste pits, and contaminated soil stockpiles.  Jennite, an asphalt sealant, was also manufactured on the site.  The Jennite pit (a lagoon) was an on-site disposal pit where Jennite and creosote wastes were dumped.  Other features in the southern part of the site included the 22nd Street Lagoon, the Jennite Building (which had 2 silos), a tank farm (including a buried railcar), and other operations buildings.  The northern portion of the site was mainly used as a drying and storage area for the treated railroad ties and wood blocks.

Jennison-Wright Corporation filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in November 1989.  An auction was held in 1990 to sell the remaining equipment and materials.  The site has remained vacant since 1990.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Surface soils at the site were contaminated with dioxins/dibenzofurans and carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  The subsurface soils are contaminated with benzene and naphthalene.  The groundwater is contaminated with PAHs and pentachlorophenol (PCP) in numerous locations around the site including the northeast corner of the site (Area H) and the Jennite pit.  The Jennite pit contained creosote wastes and was the source of surface and subsurface soil contamination as well as groundwater contamination.  After operations ceased, wastes were left at the site in a railroad tank car, a buried railroad tank car, two aboveground storage tanks, and two lagoons (22nd Street lagoon and Jennite Pit).  Site soil contaminantion was above acceptable levels for direct contact or ingestion exposures; however, the site is fenced, and the most site soil contamination and all surface contamination has been addressed; and there are no known unacceptable current human exposures from site contaminants.  

Cleanup Progress

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has undertaken three separate cleanup actions: one in 1992, to stabilize contaminants on the site; a second in 1994, to remove the most critical of the contaminants; and a third in 2003, to demolish onsite structures and remove some of the drip track residue.  The 1992 action was funded by proceeds from the 1990 Jennison-Wright Corporation bankruptcy sale.  No other financially viable responsible parties have been identified.  The 1994 removal action and the 2003 action were federally funded.

To determine what to do about the contamination still remaining on the site, IEPA began a fund-financed engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EE/CA) in April 1997.  The purpose of the EE/CA was to quantify the environmental impact of the site contaminants and determine the most effective cleanup approach.  The final EE/CA report was received and approved by IEPA in July 1999.  Illinois EPA scheduled a public hearing to solicit comments on the proposed cleanup plan.

After considering and responding to comments from the public, the Record of Decision (ROD), a public document that explains the site cleanup plan, was signed in September 1999 by both U.S. EPA and IEPA.  The cleanup plan described in the ROD included: (1) off-site disposal of various site wastes at a hazardous waste disposal facility; (2) an on-site biological treatment land farm to treat contaminated soil; (3) steam injection/concentrated contaminant recovery to address groundwater concerns; and (4) injection of a substrate (Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC)) into the subsurface to address the less contaminated groundwater.

The remedial design for the site cleanup was completed on July 21, 2003.  Partial funding for the cleanup was received in 2004.  This funding was used to remove hazardous and special wastes on the north side of the site and to treat groundwater in this area.  Cleanup of the northern portion of the site was completed in 2005.

In December 2005, in lieu of using on-site biological land farming to address soil contamination, U.S. EPA decided to change this component of the remedy and ship contaminated soils to an off-site landfill instead.  The change was documented in an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) signed in 2005. 

A second Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) was signed in June 2009 to document several minor changes to the remedy, including the need for additional institutional controls to restrict use of site soils and groundwater, excavation of contaminated soil from beneath 22nd Street, and a contingency plan for addressing potential additional contamination below the Jennite pit.

After the cleanup of the northern portion of the site was completed in 2005, cleanup of the southern portion of the site was initiated.  Construction of the site-wide remedy was completed in 2009.  Cleanup activities undertaken since 2005 include removal of dioxin-contaminated soils; excavation of the Jennite Pit and the 22nd Street lagoon; completion of the Area H cleanup; excavation and disposal of soils in the former PCP process area; additional injection of the HRC substrate to promote anaerobic biodegradation of groundwater contaminants; and construction of a treatment system.  The treatment system includes use of hot water injection wells to remove non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) from groundwater.

The site achieved construction completion in September 2009.  The groundwater/NAPL treatment system will continue running for a number of years.  Groundwater monitoring will be conducted on a quarterly basis to determine the effectiveness of the remedy.



Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
sheila sullivan (sullivan.sheila@epa.gov)
(312) 886-5251

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
virginia narsete
(312) 886-4359




Site Profile Information

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


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