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News Releases from Region 05

EPA to Begin Targeted Assessment of Manganese in Soil Near S.H. Bell Facility in Chicago

Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (

CHICAGO (May 9, 2018) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning a targeted program to assess manganese levels in the soil near the S.H. Bell Company’s transfer and storage facility on the Southeast Side of Chicago.

EPA will be attending a community discussion sponsored by the City of Chicago from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at 11731 S. Ave. O to talk to residents about the soil sampling.

In response to a request last month from the City of Chicago and based on data generated by the city, EPA is conducting a soil sampling program to help determine if a cleanup is needed to protect public health. The Agency plans to seek access from Chicago residents to sample soil from a limited number of residential yards in the area near the S.H. Bell facility between the Calumet River to the west, South Ewing Avenue to the east, 100th Street to the north and 104th Street to the south. EPA intends to use its soil sampling data to decide if a cleanup is needed. 

EPA began investigating fugitive dust and manganese air issues at S.H. Bell’s Chicago facility in 2014. EPA staff will continue to inspect S.H. Bell’s Chicago facility to confirm the company is complying with federal and state air requirements.

Manganese is a naturally occurring element found in many soils, rocks and foods, and is used in the production of steel and other industrial processes.  Manganese can be toxic when inhaled by humans at very elevated exposure levels, leading to neurological and neuropsychological damage.

For more information about the S.H. Bell facility: