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NPL Site Narrative for Southeast Rockford Ground Water Contamination

Rockford, Illinois

Federal Register Notice:  March 31, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): Ground water in a residential area of southeast Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois, is contaminated with chlorinated organic solvents, according to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). The area is bounded roughly by Harrison Avenue on the north, 21st Street on the east, Sawyer Avenue on the south, and 8th Street on the west. IEPA became aware of this situation in September 1984 while investigating reports of illegal disposal of plating wastes in a dry well at 2613 South 11th Street. Analysis of several neighborhood wells detected no metals or cyanides, common constituents of plating waste, but did find high levels of chlorinated solvents, including 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and trichloroethylene (TCE). The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and EPA conducted further sampling and found that the contamination involves nearly 2 square miles. Approximately 100 private wells and Rockford municipal wells have been sampled. EPA found chromium and lead in municipal well #35 and one private well. The wells are no longer in service. At least 152,000 people obtain their drinking water from wells within 3 miles of the site.

To date, no source of the contamination has been conclusively identified. However, IDPH has identified three potential sources on the north side of Harrison Avenue. Sunstrand's Aviation, approximately 1.5 miles east of the site, is presently cleaning up a spill of TCE by pumping out ground water, sending it through an air stripper to evaporate TCE, and discharging the water to the ground or sending it to the sewer system. Sunstrand's is upgradient of the plume of contaminated ground water. The other two potential sources identified to date are Suncorp (formerly Sunstrand Machine and Tool) and Universal Joint, both of which would be expected to generate solvent wastes in their operations.

Status (March 31, 1989): EPA's preliminary plan for fiscal year 1989 includes a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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