Environmental Issues in Southeast Chicago
Interactive map (opens in a new window) - Updated April 24, 2018
Through partnerships with advocacy groups, industry, other agencies and individual residents, EPA has empowered the environmentally overburdened community in Southeast Chicago to achieve significant environmental benefits in a short timeframe, while building capacity that will ensure the area’s continued progress.
In cooperation with Illinois EPA and the City of Chicago’s Department of Public Health, over 75 companies were investigated for Clean Air Act compliance since 2014. Notably, U.S. EPA inspected 30 of these facilities in direct response to listening to the community about their concerns, including exposure to petcoke dust. Of the several resultant enforcement cases, three enforcement actions, in particular, culminated in dramatic air quality improvements for the community.
S.H. Bell - S.H. Bell Company has been inspected several times by EPA and has installed a particulate matter ambient air monitoring network on site. EPA will be providing all data from the monitoring network.
The Schroud Property - The Schroud Property site – located southwest of the intersection of 126th Street and Avenue O in Chicago, IL – was formerly used to store and dump slag material from the former Republic/LTV Steel manufacturing operations located about a mile away on the southeast side of Chicago. In November 2019, the site was added to EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List.
Ozinga Ready Mix, Inc. - Ozinga Ready Mix, Inc. reached a settlement agreement with EPA in June 2016 to reduce particulate matter or dust from its operations in the Chicago area.
Petroleum Coke - Petroleum Coke in Chicago has been reported through fugitive dust complaints from residents in Chicago’s southeast neighborhoods. EPA has initiated several actions against petroleum handlers along the Calumet River.
Jane Addams Elementary School- Jane Addams Elementary School is the location of an EPA installed Village Green Station which provides wind and solar-powered air monitoring. Students at the school are also piloting EPA’s new AirMapper air sensor kit.
American Zinc Recycling (formerly Horsehead Corporation) - EPA reached a settlement with American Zinc Recycling in April 2020 for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act from its zinc metal refining facility in Chicago. Under the settlement, the company will upgrade air pollution controls to reduce particulate matter and dust pollution from the facility.
Adelman’s Truck and Equipment Corporation - Adelman’s Truck and Equipment Corporation (Adelman’s) was inspected by EPA on March 11, 2014. EPA issued a Section 114 Information Request on June 24, 2014 and a Finding of Violation on August 11, 2014. Adelman’s and EPA agreed on an Administrative Consent Order signed March 2, 2016 and a Consent Agreement and Final Order on March 10, 2016.
ELG Metals, Inc. - ELG Metals, Inc. (ELG) was inspected by EPA on February 2, 2015. The inspection at ELG was part of a larger effort that included close coordination with the City of Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois EPA to identify and address compliance issues in southeast Chicago.
Cronimet USA - Cronimet USA (Cronimet) was inspected by EPA on March 13, 2014. The inspection at Cronimet was part of a larger effort that included close coordination with the City of Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois EPA to identify and address compliance issues in southeast Chicago.
Watco Terminal and Port Services - EPA issued a Section 114 Information Request to Watco Terminal and Port Services (Watco), previously operated by Kinder Morgan Arrow Terminals, on May 15, 2018.
Skyway Cement Company (fka Holcim, Inc.)- EPA inspected Skyway Cement Company (Skyway) on August 27, 2014 and again on September 5, 2014 to inspect operations that were not running during the previous inspection. EPA inspected Skyway again on December 19, 2015 and issued a Section 114 information request on February 2, 2016. EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Skyway on March 23, 2017.
Chicago Rail and Port, LLC – EPA inspected Chicago Rail and Port on August 16, 2017 and February 1, 2018. EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Chicago Rail and Port on April 20, 2018.
North American Stevedoring Company, LLC (NASCO) stores and handles, among other things, bulk solid materials, including manganese-bearing alloys. On October 5, 2018, U.S. EPA issued an information request to NASCO that requires the installation and operation air monitoring equipment.
127th Street Soil Site is located at 12710 South Carondolet Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60633. The site consists of the Hegewisch Little League Field. In 2019, the U.S. EPA collected soil samples in the field as part of the investigation into potential manganese soil contamination at the Watco Terminal site in Chicago. Some areas of the field have lead and/or arsenic levels that exceed the EPA Removal Management Levels (RMLs) – 400 mg/kg and 68 mg/kg respectively – in the top foot of soil, and the Agency has plans to address these this year.