Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA proposes plan to protect endangered turtles at Johns Manville Superfund site; comment period begins, open houses April 14

Release Date: 4/12/2005
Contact Information:

Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050
Mike Joyce, (312) 356-5546

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA040

CHICAGO (Apr. 12, 2005) — To protect a bale of endangered Blanding's Turtles, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has proposed additional conservation measures to the cleanup plan for the Johns Manville Superfund site in Waukegan, Ill. Work is expected to begin this spring.

The turtles, designated an Illinois threatened species, were observed in the summer of 2004 at the northern fence line of the Manville property and at the south end of Illinois Beach State Park, immediately north of the site. The cleanup construction activities Manville will start this spring at the former wastewater treatment ponds could harm the turtles if they are found in the pond areas. As a result, at EPA's direction the company has recently prepared a conservation plan that outlines steps that will be taken to determine if the turtles continue to be on the Manville property and, if so, to minimize the impact of the cleanup.

EPA will consider public comments on the conservation plan received in writing by May 6, 2005. Open houses to answer questions about the plan and other details of the site cleanup will be held from noon to 2:30 and 5:30 to 8 p.m, Thursday, April 14, at Bowen Park's Lilac Cottage, 1911 N. Sheridan Road, Waukegan. A fact sheet with a comment form will be available at the open houses or from EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Mike Joyce, (312) 353-5546 or e-mail, Persons with special needs who plan to attend an open house should also contact Joyce.

The conservation plan document is called an "Explanation of Significant Differences." This is the third such modification of the cleanup plan due to new technical concerns presented since the initial phase of cleanup in 1988.

The Superfund site consists of about 150 acres of landfill and wastewater treatment ponds. The company deposited wastes, primarily containing asbestos, at the site from 1928 to the 1980's. An extensive phased cleanup began in 1988, with manufacturing activities stopping completely in 1998. In March, EPA approved the cleanup plan submitted by Manville for the closure of the above-ground former waste water ponds, including a 33-acre settling basin.

More information available online at

# # #