NPL Site Narrative for Chemetco
Madison County, Illinois
Chemetco is located approximately two miles south of the Village of Hartford, Madison County, Illinois.
Chemetco was a former secondary copper smelter operation which operated from 1969 to 2001. The former smelter property occupied more than 230 acres of land, but operated on 41 acres located near the smelter operations. Chemetco's major function was recycling or secondary processing of copper-bearing scrap and manufacturing residues. This process produced waste byproducts such as slag, zinc oxide (scrubber sludge), and spent refractory brick. On October 31, 2001, the facility was shut down, and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on November 13, 2001. On December 7, 2001 the Illinois EPA issued an order to seal Chemetco.
Approximately 452,254 cubic yards of waste slag material have been stockpiled on the northeast corner of the facility property. Approximately 62,204 cubic yards of zinc oxide (scrubber sludge) has been identified as being located in five separate areas on the Chemetco property, including a 2.5 acre concrete bunker located at the north end of the facility. Elevated levels of cadmium, copper and lead have been found in the waste slag material and the zinc oxide.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
Elevated levels of cadmium, copper and lead have been found in the sediments collected from the wetlands and Long Lake downstream of Chemetco.
Response Activities (to date):
Chemetco fenced the 41 acres near the smelter operations to secure the site.
Need for NPL Listing:
The State of Illinois referred the site to EPA because lead, cadmium and zinc have been detected in wetlands and Long Lake downstream of Chemetco. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated, but are not viable at this time because Chemetco is bankrupt. EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the state.
[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.