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Former Garbage Dump Provides Athletic Field, Heat, Electricity for Illinois High School Under Superfund Program

Release Date: 11/20/2003
Contact Information:

Dave Ryan 202-564-7827 /

(11/20/2003) As part of EPA’s national program to return former hazardous waste sites to productive reuse, the Agency’s Region 5 office in Chicago declared Nov. 12 that a former Superfund site next to Antioch Community High School in Antioch, Ill., is “Ready for Reuse.” This is the first such declaration in the Midwest and third in the nation. About 30 acres of the cleaned-up and grass-covered H.O.D. Landfill -- named a Superfund National Priorities List site in 1990 -- is being converted to a multi-use athletic field adjacent to the school. In addition, methane gas extracted from the landfill is now being used to produce the school’s heat and electricity, and a wetland along one side of the site will be used for student science projects. The site contains a municipal and industrial landfill which operated from about 1963 to 1984. EPA selected a final cleanup plan for the site in Sept. 1998, and oversaw a series of cleanup activities there between August 2000 and August 2002. This site is construction complete, which means physical construction of all cleanup actions are complete, all immediate risks have been addressed and all long-term risks are under control. Numerous partner agencies and organizations played roles in the cleanup and reuse of the landfill, including: United States Soccer Federation, Illinois EPA, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Village of Antioch, Antioch Township, Antioch Community High School District 117, Waste Management and ComEd (an Illinois utility). Under the Superfund hazardous waste site program, the Ready for Reuse determination allows a potential buyer to make informed decisions based on environmental status information verified by EPA and the relevant state environmental regulatory agency. EPA hopes the Ready for Reuse technical determination will reduce the stigma often attached to hazardous waste properties and help developers get more attractive rates in the lending and insurance markets.