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Congressional District # 11


EPA ID# ILD980794333
Last Updated: June, 2015

Site Description

The LaSalle Electrical Utilities site is located in the city of LaSalle, in LaSalle County, Illinois.  From about 1943 until 1982, the 68,000 square foot industrial complex, located on approximately 10 acres of land, manufactured capacitors for use by industrial applications and electrical power transmission.  In 1982, the Electrical Utilities Company filed bankruptcy and is now nonexistent.  All investigative and remedial activities at the site have been fund-financed.  The plant site is surrounded by small retail/industrial businesses, agricultural land, and residential property.  Approximately 5,200 residents live within one mile of the site.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and state actions.  EPA funded the State of Illinois, through Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), to conduct the Remedial Investigations/Feasibility Studies and subsequently to implement the respective remedial actions.  Currently the site is in the operation and maintenance phase for the ground water pump and treat system with IEPA as the lead agency. 

Threats and Contaminants

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination on the plant site was detected at levels up to 17,000 ppm in surface soil and at 300,000 ppm in a dense nonaqueous phase layer in the water table.  Additionally chlorinated solvents [trichloroethlyene (TCE), tetrachloroethlyene (TCA), etc.] were also found to have contaminated the groundwater. 

PCB-contaminated  groundwater plume extends under the eastern two-thirds of the site property and approximately 500 feet offsite to the south and southeast.  All building materials, sampled inside the manufacturing complex (concrete, wood, steel surfaces, wall coverings, insulating materials, etc.), were contaminated with PCBs and significant amount of asbestos-containing materials were identified within the buildings.  Surface soil contamination extended from plant site to over 100 residential properties and along more than 1.5 miles of road shoulder.  PCB contamination was also detected in household dust in private residences near the plant site, in city storm and sanitary sewers serving the area of the site, and in sediments in approximately 1,000 feet of a stream which receives local storm sewer discharge. 

Cleanup Progress

In 1983-1985, U.S. EPA conducted three separate early actions.  The first was to secure the site.  The second action  consolidated all drummed wastes.  Finally, the site was graded to control offsite migration of surface water.  In 1988, through a cooperative agreement with U.S. EPA, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) began Phase I activities with the removal of 23,258 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil from private yards, road shoulders, agricultural fields, and adjoining business properties.  Soils removed in Phase I, were processed through a thermal treatment unit that was operated in an uncontaminated portion of the former plant site.  PCBs were stripped from the soil and thermally destroyed. The residents of 26 homes were relocated for up to six weeks while soil was excavated from the yards and the homes were industrially cleaned, including the furnace duct system.  Over 100 other homes had partial removal of yards and/or curb to sidewalk soils. 

IEPA conducted Phase II activities in summer 1990 through the winter of 1994.  The industrial complex was demolished and 3,100 cubic yards of contaminated stream sediments were thermally destroyed in an onsite thermal destruction unit.  A groundwater collection and treatment system was also installed to remediate contaminated groundwater.

In spring 1995, Phase III, operation of the groundwater remedy began. IEPA evaluated technologies to reduce the operating time of the groundwater remedy. The installation of a full scale SVE system was completed in 2002.  In addition, phytoremediation was implemented in smaller, select locations to enhance removal of VOCs from clay soils. 

The 1999 five-year review report concluded that the remedy remained protective of human health and the environment.  The report recommended the continued operation of the groundwater extraction and treatment system, the installation of a SVE system, and an additional lateral groundwater collection trench along the eastern portion of the site, in order to achieve compliance with groundwater cleanup goals in a timely fashion.  IEPA decided not to install another lateral collection trench.

An Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD) was issued to account for the addition of remedy enhancements  recommended in the FYR.

Four FYRs have been conducted at this site. The remedy is functioning as designed. However, based on the groundwater modeling results, continued monitoring is necessary to ensure the  groundwater standards are met.  Continued compliance with local ordinances is needed to prevent exposure to contaminated ground water until the remedy is complete.





Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
david seely (seely.david@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7058

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
janet pope
(312) 353-0628




Site Profile Information

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


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