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Congressional District # 17


EPA ID# ILN000508170
Last Updated: September, 2011

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. 

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, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc.  The slag pile is not contained, and surface water run-off is collected by two seperate 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 believed to be present on residential properties adjacent to the ASARCO facility. Additional sampling of residential properties will be performed as part of the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the Site.

Cleanup Progress

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) placed the Asarco Taylor Springs site on the National Priorities List in September 2006. The PRPs, with oversight by U.S. EPA, have completed the RI/FS Work Plan and RI activities will begin in October 2011. 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 U.S. EPA, will then conduct a feasibility study that will evaluate various cleanup options for the site. U.S. EPA will then present these cleanup options to the community and solicit public input. This input will be considered in deciding on the best cleanup approach. Any remediation performed will then be monitored over time to ensure effectiveness. This can be a long process, but the public will be notified through various communication methods such as mailings and public meetings, and will be invited to provide input. 

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 September and October 2006. The data were used to plan for a removal action, which was initiated in December 2007 and has since been completed. Excavation and restoration work occurred at 36 properties where soils exceeded U.S. 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 on March 2, 2008.

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





Site Profile Information

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


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