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News Releases from Region 05

EPA provides $6.8 million to Chicago Park District for DuSable Park cleanup

Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (

For Immediate Release: No. 16-OPA064

CHICAGO (June 15, 2017) –Under a cooperative agreement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide $6.8 million to the Chicago Park District to continue cleanup at DuSable Park along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Under a 2014 fraud settlement with EPA, Kerr-McGee Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. agreed to pay for environmental cleanups at former Kerr-McGee sites across the nation.

CPD will use the new funding to identify and remove any remaining thorium-contaminated material at the park and dispose of it at a licensed facility. This contamination dates back to early 1900s when Lindsay Light Co. manufactured incandescent gaslight mantles at the site. Since 2000, EPA has overseen several partial cleanups involving the removal of all contaminated surface and subsurface soils which had been discovered during construction work at the park.

“The Chicago Park District is excited to get this cleanup project completed and transform this vacant unused parcel of land into a healthy, active green space for all to enjoy while honoring the legacy of the founder of Chicago,” said Michael P. Kelly, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO. When the cleanup is completed, CPD expects to dedicate the park to Chicago’s first non-Native-American settler, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable. 

“I am determined to prioritize Superfund cleanups which are a core part of our mission,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “I am confident that with a renewed sense of urgency, leadership and fresh ideas, the Superfund program can reach its full potential of returning formerly contaminated sites to communities for their beneficial use.”

Pruitt recently created a task force to provide recommendations on how U.S. EPA can streamline and improve the Superfund program. This includes: restructuring and expediting the cleanup process; reducing the burden on cooperating parties; incentivizing parties to remediate sites; encouraging private investment in cleanups and sites, and promoting the revitalization of properties across the country.