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Great Lakes AOCs

Restoring Waukegan Harbor AOC (timeline)

Year Critical Actions

The third BUI is removed.

  • Restriction on dredging activities

The second BUI is removed.

  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat

July 2013 - EPA completes the dredging of 124,244 cubic yards of contaminated sediment. Dredging is successful in reducing PCB concentrations in harbor sediment to below the 0.2 ppm target level.

Reports are released that discuss the results of plankton, benthos and fish sampling conducted 2012.


Illinois DNR creates a habitat management plan for the AOC that describes the cause of fish and wildlife impairments and outlines goals to restore fish and wildlife habitat


The first beneficial use impairment is removed.

  • Beach closings


Cleanup efforts at the Waukegan Manufactured Gas and Coke site are completed. Groundwater is cleaner as a result and is re-injected using bioremediation technology


A delisting guideline is created for Waukegan Harbor that identifies criteria that must be met to delist the AOC and compares these criteria to those of other AOCs.


Soil removal activities are completed at the Waukegan Manufactured Gas and Coke site.

Waukegan Harbor CAG receives an US EPA section 319 financial assistance grant to develop a watershed plan. Illinois EPA administers the grant.

2004 Additional sampling is conducted to fill data gaps.


Sediment-sampling is conducted to help EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers determine the extent of contamination remaining in the harbor and evaluate remediation options for the existing contamination.


Potentially responsible parties initiate removal actions to dispose of acids, bases, paints, solvents, hydraulic oil, machining oil, compressed gases, metals, sludges and PCBs from the Waukegan lakefront.

Waukegan Environmental Justice Revitalization Project


Shipping companies that use Waukegan Harbor dredge Slip 1 and portions of the entrance channel to a depth of 19.5 feet.


Stage III of the remedial action plan is completed.


Final reports for Stage I and II of the remedial action plan are completed.


Approximately 1 million pounds of PCBs are removed during remediation activities at the Outboard Marine Corporation site and Waukegan Harbor.