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NPL Site Narrative for Sauget Area 2

Sauget, Illinois

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

The Sauget Area 2 site covers approximately 312 acres and is located within the corporate boundaries of Cahokia, East St. Louis, and Sauget, Illinois, in the floodplain bordering the eastern edge of the Mississippi River. The Sauget Area 2 site is the location of a release of hazardous substances resulting from the treatment and disposal of industrial, municipal, and chemical wastes. The site is being proposed to the NPL because chlorobenzenes, chlorophenols, chloroanilines, nitroanilines, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and metals have been found on the property, in ground water beneath the property, and in Mississippi River sediments adjacent to the Sauget 2 property. These hazardous substances not only pose a threat to the people who consume fish from the recreation and sport fishing areas near the site, but also threaten wetlands and the endangered and threatened species that inhabit the area.

Four landfills and four backfilled lagoons, all of which are at times in contact with the water table, are located throughout the Sauget 2 property. Landfill R, located directly adjacent to the Mississippi River, was used by Sauget and Company, Inc., to dispose of chemical waste products generated by Monsanto from 1957 to 1977. From 1966 to 1973, a larger landfill, Landfill Q, also was used to dispose of municipal and hazardous wastes. In addition, beginning in 1972, Monsanto and the Edwin Cooper Company were permitted to dispose industrial waste at a landfill known as Landfill P. Landfill S was used as a still-bottom disposal area for Clayton Chemical Company after 1973. This disposal area allegedly was excavated by Paul Sauget/Sauget and Company for Clayton Chemical Company's use. The four sludge dewatering lagoons, located in the center of the property, were used to treat wastewater from area industries from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. Sampling conducted at the site has indicated significant levels of hazardous substances in all sources, including benzene at a concentrations up to 10,000 µg/kg, PCBs at concentrations up to 25,000,000 µg/kg, 4,4'-DDE at 270 µg/kg, phenol at 2,300,000 µg/kg, and lead up to 728 µg/kg.

A levee bisecting the property was constructed in the 1950s to prevent surface water from flooding areas east of the levee; but the levee neither prevents sources west of the levee from being inundated by spring floods, nor does it restrict contaminant transport through the unsaturated and saturated zones under the levee. In 1993, a flood exposed numerous drums on the east bank of the Mississippi River, resulting in flood waters coming in direct contact with hazardous substances, including PCBs at concentrations up to 110,000 µg/kg. These drums contained waste with arsenic concentrations of 138 mg/kg and lead concentrations at 3,740 mg/kg.

In May 1999, lead was documented in ground water beneath the property at 238 µg/L, PCB levels were documented as high as 19 µg/L, and 4,4'-DDE levels as high as 0.52 µg/L. In October 1999, EPA initiated a CERCLA time-critical removal during which over 3,271 drums of waste and hazardous materials and approximately 15,000 tons of contaminated soil were removed from the western edge of the property, directly adjacent to the Mississippi River. However, due to the extensive amount of contamination, the removal could not address all the contamination on the Sauget Area 2 property. Sediment samples collected in 2000 from the Mississippi River adjacent to the site show elevated levels of chlorobenzene (up to 10,000 µg/kg), 4-chloroaniline (3,300 µg/kg), 1,4-dichlorobenzene (1,700 µg/kg) and 4,4'-DDD (14 µg/kg).

A portion of the Mississippi River within the area of observed contamination is fished for carp, catfish, and drum for human consumption. The Sauget Area 2 property is used as habitat by at least six threatened and endangered species, including the Federally threatened bald eagle and state endangered snowy egret and little blue heron.

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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