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NPL Site Narrative for Sauget Area 1

Cahokia, Sauget, Illinois

Federal Register Notice:  September 13, 2001 (PDF) (7 pp, 186K, About PDF)

The Sauget Area 1 site is located in the Village of Sauget (formerly the Village of Monsanto), St. Clair County, in southwestern Illinois. The site encompasses three landfills and a buried/backfilled surface impoundment along Dead Creek, segments of Dead Creek that were altered as a result of industrial waste disposal, and releases from these waste disposal areas. The releases of hazardous substances have occurred as a result of the shared waste disposal practices of several different companies since the late 1930s. These releases have commingled and migrated along Dead Creek to a perennial wetland. The site is being proposed to the NPL on the basis that releases of PCBs, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc have been documented in the wetland and in an endangered species habitat. In addition, the releases pose a threat to 13 state or Federally designated threatened or endangered species, over 11 miles of wetland frontage, and recreational and commercial fisheries downstream of the site.

The Sauget Area 1 site comprises seven sources, including three surface impoundments (Sources 1, 2, 7), three landfills (Sources 4, 5, 6), and contaminated soil lining Dead Creek (Source 3). Sources 1, 2, and 7 received industrial wastewater from Monsanto Chemical Company and Cerro Copper Company. A yellow substance observed to be migrating downstream of Sources 1 and 2 by area residents indicates that a release from these sources had occurred. In the late 1960s, a culvert downstream of Source 1 was sealed; however, water continued to flow past the culvert to downstream segments of Dead Creek. The Bureau of Water Pollution Control indicated that the culverts at Sources 1 and 2 potentially were not completely sealed, allowing hazardous substances to flow through. A removal action, during which 27,500 tons of sediment, soil, and water were removed, was performed at Source 1in 1990 as a result of a consent decree. The surface impoundment was backfilled and covered with gravel. In January and February 2000, samples collected at Source 2 contained PCBs (24,290 mg/kg), copper (19,000 mg/kg), and zinc (26,000 mg/kg).

Source 4, a landfill that operated from 1966 to 1988 and included intermittent dumping between 1952 and 1973, contained fly ash and cinder material as a cover. Wastes located on the surface and/or subsurface of this source have been observed to spontaneously combust and burn for long periods of time. In 1987, a fence was installed as part of a removal action, and in 1995 a subsequent removal action was performed during which contaminated soil was excavated from the source and the waste was consolidated. The landfills comprising Sources 5 and 6 received drums of chemical waste, solvents, organics, and inorganics, including PCBs, between 1931 and 1957.

Source 3, the contaminated soil lining Dead Creek, extends approximately 8,500 feet in length. Source 3 receives run-off from upstream Sauget Area 1 sources and drains directly into a wetland. Several residences and Park College border Source 3. Access to the source is not restricted, and children have been observed walking in the creek bed.

Hazardous substances from the source areas have been documented in the wetland adjacent to Source 3. The wetland flows into Old Prairie duPont Creek, the Cahokia Chute of the Mississippi River, and, subsequently, to the main channel of the Mississippi River. The black-crowned night heron, a state designated endangered species in Illinois, has been documented in the wetland. Habitats known to be used by four Federally designated endangered or threatened species and by nine state designated endangered or threatened species exist within 15 miles downstream of the site. Approximately 6,000 feet of wetland frontage has been impacted by releases from the sources, and over 11 miles of wetland frontage are subject to potential contamination. In addition, Old Prairie duPont Creek, the Cahokia Chute, and the Mississippi River are used for recreational and commercial fishing.

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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