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Congressional District # 19


EPA ID# ILD981781065
Last Updated: October, 2014

Site Description

The Central Illinois Public Service Company site (CIPS) is located in Christian County, Illinois. The site is slightly less than one acre in size and is located in the city of Taylorville, a community of approximately 11,000 people. A manufactured gas plant operated on the site from 1892 until 1932. The coal gasification process produced a by-product called coal tar. Coal tar is a mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) like naphthalene and benzo(a)pyrene. As a result of operations, coal tar contaminated the soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment around the site. Investigations identified a plume of contaminated groundwater migrated approximately 700 feet off-site. Nearly 500 residents within a one-mile radius of the site use the aquifer for potable water. Additional groundwater investigation indicated that four out of 22 homes were contaminated with compounds associated with coal tar.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, local, and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The soil and groundwater below the site are contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs), naphthalene, fluorene, and other polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and VOCs that include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene. Surface water runoff has transported contaminants off-site. Sediment in a private pond located downstream from the site is contaminated with PAHs. A risk assessment conducted at the site concluded that, in its current condition, the site does not present an immediate threat to human health. Future residential usage of the groundwater, however, may present an unacceptable health risk. Exposure to surface water and ingestion of fish from the Seaman Estate Pond may pose a significant-increased cancer risk.

Cleanup Progress

In January 1987, CIPS removed approximately 12,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site. In October 1987, CIPS provided a permanent alternative water supply to approximately 20 residences. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and CIPS did not reach agreement on gurther cleanup so the Site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in June 1988. A final decision on the cleanup was reached in  a September 1992 Record of Decision (ROD). Under the Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) Consent Decree, signed in March 1994, CIPS completed the construction of the Groundwater Pump and Treat Plant in February 1995; it was construction complete  in October 1995.  

In September 2005, the Illinois EPA signed an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to document changes to the 1992 ROD for the CIPS Site. These changes allowed Ameren CIPS (formerly known as CIPS) to conduct a pilot study on an alternate treatment method in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the length of operation time of the current groundwater pump and treat system. The ESD revised the cleanup objective for benzo(a)pyrene from 0.00023 mg/L to 0.0002 mg/L, based on newly established Maximum Contaminat Level (MCL) for this constituent. The ESD also updated cleanup objectives related to surface water quality standards for the contaminants of concerns baseed on new toxicity information. U.S. EPA has completed four five-year reviews of the Ameren CIPS Site since March 1999. The last (Fourth) Five-Year Review Report completed on June 23, 2014 concluded that the remedy is protective of human health and the environment. The next five-year review of the site is due in June 2019.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nanjunda gowda (gowda.nanjunda@epa.gov)
(312) 353-9236

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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