Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 10


EPA ID# ILD980500102
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The  70-acre Yeoman Creek Landfill ("YCL") is located in Waukegan, Illinois.  The site operated as a municipal and industrial waste landfill from 1959 to 1969.  The YCL Site, largely constructed within wetlands and within the Yeoman Creek flood plain,  is located next to a large wetland and residential/commercial developments, including single-family residences, apartment buildings, a nursing home, offices, a shopping center, and restaurants.  The landfill is fairly shallow, with a maximum depth of waste burial of 19 feet.  The total volume of waste at the YCL Site is estimated to exceed 1 million cubic yards. 

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 11,821 people live within a l-mile radius of the site, of which 19.2 percent are African-American and 53.4 percent are Hispanic. Waukegan, Illinois.

EPA placed the YCL Site on the National Priorities List in 1989.

Site Responsibility

U.S. EPA is the lead Agency in partnership with Illinois EPA overseeing the potentially responsible parties' ("PRPs") cleanup of the site.

Threats and Contaminants

Leachate from the landfill contains volatile organic compounds ("VOCs"), polychlorinated biphenyls ("PCBs"), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and elevated concentrations of lead, manganese, iron, chloride, and ammonia. Some groundwater samples contained low concentrations of VOCs, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and elevated concentrations of lead, chloride, and ammonia. Sediments of Yeoman Creek at the landfill, and farther downstream at Yeoman Park, contain PCBs and other organic chemicals. Landfill gas ("LFG") was detected at levels above the lower explosive limit ("LEL"), migrating offsite. The LFG containing a number of VOCs was detected entering a building near the site. The risk assessment indicated that future residential usage of the groundwater near the site would present an unacceptable health risk. There may also have been significant adverse effects on wildlife in the creek and adjacent wetland. VOC-contaminated LFG also presented a health risk to residents of the building where they were detected, and the gases could have caused explosions.

Cleanup Progress

EPA placed the YCL Site on the National Priorities List in 1989.  In 1990, the PRPs installed a fence around the site. In mid-1994, the PRPs installed a ventilation system in a building adjacent to the site. Under U.S. EPA supervision, the responsible parties conducted a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS). U.S. EPA and IEPA selected a cleanup plan called a Record of Decision ("ROD") on September 30, 1996. The final cleanup included sediment collection in Yeoman Creek and limited wetland areas, reconstruction of Yeoman Creek, installation of a flexible onsite landfill cover, continuation of measures to address LFG, waste consolidation and extensive long-term monitoring.  The 1996 ROD and supporting documents are available to the public for viewing at the Waukegan Public Library.

In 1998, the responsible parties installed a LFG collection system to remove explosive levels of LFG that had migrated to the basements and adjacent soils of certain buildings north of the site. The LFG collection system was installed, modified several times, and has not been able to achieve compliance at all monitoring points. Under the CD the PRPs collected additional data, started a long-term monitoring program for the site, and designed the remedy at the site. In February 2002, the PRPs began construction of the remedy as per the 1996 ROD. The management of drummed wastes and contact water/leachate slowed progress toward cleanup. Major construction activities were halted in May 2003 to allow time for the local, state, and federal agencies and the PRPs to evaluate the potential for placing dredged materials from Waukegan Harbor at the site, should the dredging occur. In early April 2004, the city of Waukegan confirmed that it would never allow the dredged material to be placed at the site in spite of its many related benefits. On April 16, 2004, the PRPs signed contracts to complete the cleanup at the site.

On September 23, 2005, U.S. EPA issued a Preliminary Close-out Report for the YCL documenting that all major construction activities were completed.  The remedy seems to be working fine for the However, the remedy has failed to control the migration of LFG above 50% of the LEL in the northern portion of the site.  A separate Lovinger Gas Collection System (LGS) along with a slurry wall, sump pump lift station was designed in 2008 and implemented in 2009. Evoy parking lot extraction trench connected to LGS in 2010. In 2011 and 2011, additional sub-surface investigations/pilot test field work was completed which resulted in connecting an extraction trench to the LGS system.  Inspite of these additional measures implemented by the responsible parties, the LFG collection system is not operating as designed as the LFG above 50% of the LEL continues to migrate away from the landfill to the northern part of the site.  

U.S. EPA decided to address the LFG migration issue through two phases. Phase I measures were implemented in 2013, which included additional protective measures at a nursing home at the north end of the landfill due to the potential migration of LFG above 50% of the LEL. Phase I measures included the installation of four additional 24/7 methane gas detectors (adding to the existing two methane gas detectors) connected to auto dialers to the fire department; and the application of a vapor intrusion sealant at the basement of the nursing home.  Phase II remediation effort focusses on the backyard area and the parking lot of the nursing home, where a number of monitoring points continue to indicate LFG above 50% LEL.  The Phase II measures are being negotiated, which may include soil gas vapor (SGV) venting, a new extraction trench in combination with an existing extraction trench and vertical strategic extraction points as SGV wells. Phase II measures are expected to be implemented in 2015/2016.

Community Involvement

U.S. EPA issued a revised final Community Involvement Plan in January 2007.

Property Reuse

In 2012, U.S EPA funded a solar reuse assessment project under the Superfund Redevelopment initiative. This purpose of this reuse assessment was to evaluate site suitability and remedy compatibility for on-site solar photovoltaic electricity generation; and identify solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology options, generation potential and capital costs. The reuse assessment concluded that the YCL site offers 45 acres suitable for direct use and utility-scale solar PV developement.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
syed quadri (quadri.syed@epa.gov)
(312) 886-5736

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




Site Profile Information

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


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.