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EPA in Illinois

Watco Terminal and Port Services

Watco Terminal and Port Services (Watco) is a bulk solid material handler located at 2926 East 126th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60633. Watco stores and handles bulk solid materials, including manganese-bearing alloys. U.S. EPA has been studying air in Chicago’s Southeast side since 2013 in response to residents’ concerns about the area’s long industrial history.  U.S. EPA has inspected Watco several times since June 2014.

U.S. EPA is committed to investigating sources of pollution, fugitive dust, and toxic metals in Southeast Chicago, including conducting inspections, issuing Section 114 Information Requests, and taking appropriate enforcement action. (Learn about EPA enforcement in The Clean Air Act in a Nutshell: How It Works).

Update-November 2018

Air Monitoring

Watco Terminal and Port Services aerial imageAerial image showing location of MET and FRM monitors in relation to Watco Terminal and Port Services

On May 15, 2018, U.S. EPA issued an information request to Watco that requires the installation and operation of a Federal Reference Method (FRM) monitor to measure concentrations of particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10) and several types of heavy metals and a meteorological station to measure wind speed and wind direction. Watco previously installed a meteorological station in August 2017. The FRM monitor was installed and began operating on September 14, 2018. EPA inspected the facility on September 25, 2018 Clean Air Act Inspection Report to verify the installation of the monitor.

Monitoring Locations

Monitor Approximate Location
Monitoring Equipment
Northing Easting
Filter-based Monitor 4613090.99 453944.31 Met One Inc. Model E-SEQ-FRM
Meteorological Station 4613152.66 453754.62 Met One Inc. Model 034B

Air Monitor Data

Monitor Timeframe Data
Filter-based Monitor September 2018 – February 2019 Filter-based Metals Data - February 2019(98 K)
Meteorological Station September 2018 - February 2019 MET data(410 K)

The minimal risk level (MRL) set by The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for manganese is 0.3 µg/m3. This is a health screening level for chronic inhalation exposure (12 months or longer) to manganese. The average manganese concentration for the month of February 2019 is 0.087 µg/m3. The total average manganese concentration is 0.322 µg/m3.

Exposure to a level above the MRL does not mean that adverse health effects will occur. ATSDR sets MRLs below levels that might cause adverse health effects in the people most sensitive to such substance-induced effects based on current information. Learn more about MRLs.

EPA will continue to evaluate Watco’s operations and all monitoring data as it is submitted. EPA is committed to sharing the air monitoring data even when the data is preliminary with the community and other government agencies and to take action needed to protect public health. EPA has been in communication with Watco and Watco is committed to investigating its operations and manganese emissions.

Additional Documents

Information request and inspection report documents