EPA in Illinois

Pillsbury Mills LLC Removal Site

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June 2017 Update

U.S. EPA is removing and properly disposing of asbestos-containing waste and hazardous substances. 

Waste materials are being removed after being separated into the following categories:

  • Friable asbestos-containing construction debris
  • Friable asbestos‐containing pipe wrap and boiler insulation materials
  • Unknown drums
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Universal wastes

The majority of the waste is being loaded into lined trucks or dumpsters/roll-off containers. Any debris that is too large for transport is mechanically demolished prior to load and transport. Depending on the location, some waste (i.e., drummed and universal waste streams) has been temporarily stockpiled inside an “outbuilding” prior to transport and disposal. By mid-July, nearly 2,200 tons of contaminated debris and 840 cubic yards of contaminated pipe wrap and boiler insulation had been removed and shipped off-site.

U.S. EPA is also taking measures to keep any asbestos-contaminated dust from blowing off-site. The air is being monitored to ensure the asbestos is under control. Security is being provided around the clock to prevent trespassing.  

During the site assessment, on-site building basements were inaccessible due to flooding.   When U.S. EPA was finally able to get into the basements, workers discovered a tremendous amount of damaged asbestos pipe wrap and boiler insulation within a 47,000 square-foot area.  Removing this additional material will take an extra two months. The cleanup will continue until asbestos-contaminated material in every building is removed, transported, and disposed of. This includes hazardous and non-hazardous waste and miscellaneous debris. The cleanup is expected to be completed by the end of September.   

When completed, bulk asbestos will no longer be present on-site.  This will greatly reduce asbestos being released into the environment while still protecting local residents.

Site Description

The Pillsbury Mills LLC removal site is located at 1525 E. Phillips St., Springfield, IL.  The site is a former food processing facility on about 18 acres of land.  At one point, it consisted of 26 structures including warehouses, office buildings, grain-mixing buildings, and grain storage silos. It is located in a residential and light industrial area next to rail lines. Vacant for about 10 years, Pillsbury Mills is surrounded by a fence, however, there is evidence of trespassing. The Pillsbury Mills facility as it looks today.   

Site Background

Illinois EPA referred Pillsbury Mills to U.S. EPA for an assessment and possible cleanup in March 2016. Prior to that, Illinois EPA referred the matter to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. That office filed a complaint against the owner and others for asbestos-related violations. The owner/operator was required to secure the site and hire an asbestos professional to design a cleanup plan. Although steps were taken, including the removal of a small amount of asbestos-containing material outside the fence line, an acceptable cleanup plan was never submitted and a cleanup was never started.

Meanwhile, Illinois EPA and the city of Springfield continue to monitor the site for improper activities and are trying to compel the owner to provide better security.


Photo Gallery

Images of cleanup progress for the site.