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NPL Site Narrative for Lake Calumet Cluster

Chicago, Illinois
Cook County

iconSite Location:
   The Lake Calumet Cluster site is located on the southeast side of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. The site covers approximately 87 acres bounded by the Land and Lakes Landfill to the west, 122nd Street to the South, the Norfolk Southern Railroad right-ofway and the Indian Ridge Marsh to the east, and Paxton I & II Landfills to the north.

iconSite History:
   This site, composed of the former Alburn Incinerator parcel, an unnamed parcel, the U.S. Drum parcel, and the Paxton Avenue Lagoons, was used as a mix of industrial facilities and waste disposal areas. The site was originally a wetland. Various excavation, filling, and dumping activities occurred from the 1940's to the 1980's. The site is now covered by as much as 30 feet of fill consisting of various materials, including steel mill slag and industrial, chemical and municipal waste.

iconSite Contamination/Contaminants:
   The area of contamination includes unregulated and previously regulated disposal sites and saturated contaminated soil, which encompass the entire site. The disposal sites and contaminated soil contain numerous contaminants, including arsenic, cadmium, calcium, chromium, copper, cyanide, manganese, zinc, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, acenaphthene, bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, benzene, toluene, polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene.

iconPotential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
   Several acres of wetlands exist within the boundaries of the site. The wetlands adjacent to the landfills are known to be used by approximately 14 different federal and state endangered or threatened species. Fishing has also been observed in Indian Ridge Marsh, Big Marsh, Dead Stick Pond, and Heron Pond. Contaminants from the site are being carried by the surface water to the sediments in Indian Ridge Marsh.

iconResponse Activities (to date):
   Removal actions have been undertaken on some of these properties by both U.S. EPA and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA). In 1983, EPA performed a removal action at the Alburn Incinerator removing all visible sources of hazardous materials including 7,524 drums. EPA conducted an emergency removal in 1984 through 1985 at the U.S. Drum parcel involving 6,000 drums and 341,000 gallons of liquid and semisolid wastes. In 1990, EPA conducted a removal action at the Paxton Avenue Lagoons removing 60 drums of hazardous materials and 2,200 cubic yards of contaminated soil. In 2006, Illinois EPA issued a Record of Decision for the Lake Calumet Cluster site which called for a cap to be installed. In 2007/2008, Illinois EPA began construction of a landfill cap, but it ran out of resources to complete the cap.

iconNeed for NPL Listing:
   The State of Illinois referred the site to EPA because significant contamination remains on-site and continues to contaminante adjacent wetlands. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated but are not viable at this time. EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the State. The City of Chicago also supports this listing.

[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]

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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