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Congressional District # 17


EPA ID# ILN000508170
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

The ASARCO site is located on the south side of the Village of Taylor Springs, Illinois, in Montgomery County. The site occupies approximately 533 acres, of which 263 acres are wooded, 89 acres are used for agriculture, and the remaining 181 acres comprise the former and current site operations area. The site is bordered to the northwest by cultivated farmland and woodlands, to the northeast by residential areas, to the east by the Taylor Springs waste water treatment plant and cultivated farmland, and to the south and west by cultivated farmland and woodlands. There are two ponds located on the northwest edge of the site that are regularly fished by the local community.

Previous operations at the site include mining and storage of coal, primary slab zinc production, sulfuric acid production, secondary slab zinc production, American Process zinc oxide production, and French Process zinc oxide production.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Asarco Taylor Springs site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 2006 and finalized the site on the NPL in September 2006.  

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

A significant amount of the slag within the facility from mining and processing zinc is stored in a waste pile that occupies approximately 2.5 acres and a shallow waste pile that occupies approximately 9.1 acres. Contaminants of concern associated with the slag pile are metals, primarily arsenic, cadmium, chromium, iron, lead, thallium, and zinc. The slag pile is not contained, and surface water run-off is collected by two separate drainage routes west of the facility. These drainage routes both flow through a series of wetlands and into Middle Fork of Shoal Creek. Middle Fork of Shoal Creek is considered to be a fishery, and the wetlands support small wildlife commonly found in and around healthy creeks in central Illinois.

Soil contamination is also present on residential properties adjacent to the ASARCO facility. The primary contaminants in the residential areas are arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead and thallium.

Cleanup Progress

A Removal Site Assessment was conducted in June 2006 at residential properties surrounding the ASARCO facility. Approximately 150 residential properties were assessed. The results of the sampling were made available to property owners in the Fall of 2006. EPA and the PRP (Blue Tee) signed an administrative order on consent in September 2007 under which the PRP agreed to conduct a removal action. The removal action began in December 2007. Excavation and restoration work occurred at 36 properties where soils exceeded EPA's removal action criterion of 1,200 parts per million (ppm) lead. Approximately 2,784 cubic yards of soil were removed from residential properties and placed in the on-site staging area on the ASARCO Taylor Springs site. The staging area was then capped and hydroseeded to reduce erosion. Restoration of the residential properties, including hydroseeding, was completed in March 2008.

The PRPs, with oversight by EPA, are currently in the process of conducting a remedial investigation at the site. The RI will determine the nature and extent of the contamination and evaluate possible risks to human health and the environment. The PRPs, with oversight by EPA, will then conduct a feasibility study that will evaluate various cleanup options for the site. EPA will present the potential cleanup options to the community and solicit public input before deciding on the best cleanup approach. Any remediation performed will then be monitored over time to ensure effectiveness.

Community Involvement

As part of the Superfund process, funds are available for a qualified community group to hire a technical advisor to help the community better understand the investigation, potential impacts of the site, and become involved as the site moves through the Superfund cleanup process. These funds are referred to as a Technical Assistant Grant (TAG). Further information regarding TAGs may be found at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/community/tag/


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
sheila desai (desai.sheila@epa.gov)
(312) 353-4150

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
heriberto leon
(312) 886-6163




Site Profile Information

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


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