News Releases from Region 05
EPA Proposes Adding Schroud Property in Chicago to National Priorities List
For Immediate Release: No. 19-OPA020
CHICAGO (MAY 29, 2019) – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Schroud Property in Chicago, Illinois, is one of two sites nationwide proposed for the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) where releases of contamination pose human health and environmental risks.
“Proposing to add these sites to the National Priorities List is an important first step toward protecting the health and environment of the affected communities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Under President Trump, we have elevated our focus on the Superfund program, and we are making tremendous progress accelerating cleanups and returning sites to safe and productive use. In Fiscal Year 2018, EPA deleted all or part of 22 sites from the National Priorities List, the largest number of deletions in one year since Fiscal Year 2005.”
“This contaminated property may pose a threat to community members that use it for recreation,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Adding the site to the NPL will allow EPA to secure the site and clean it up to protect residents.”
Soil and waste at the Schroud Property and in nearby Indian Creek are contaminated with lead, chromium and other inorganic compounds. From 1951-1977, the 67-acre site was used to store and dump slag material from the former Republic/LTV Steel facility, located about a mile away.
The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at sites included on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.
While EPA may find contamination during its own investigations, EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement because states, tribes or citizens ask for the agency’s help.
Community partnerships are critical to Superfund site cleanups. EPA’s goal is to involve community partners in the cleanup process at every site, including exploring future site uses, thereby giving EPA the best chance of transforming the site into a productive community resource.
Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program is credited with significant reductions in birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24% within 3 miles of sites after cleanup.
Redeveloped Superfund sites can generate a great deal of economic activity. Thanks to Superfund cleanups, previously blighted properties are now being used for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. At 529 Superfund sites returned to productive use, 8,600 businesses operate and 195,000 employees earn more than $13 billion in annual income.
The Superfund Task Force is working to improve the Superfund program. EPA has implemented nearly half of the Task Force’s recommendations to expedite site cleanups and redevelopment and expects to complete the remaining recommendations by August 2019.
For information on Schroud Property site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/schroud-property
For information about Superfund and the NPL: https://www.epa.gov/superfund
The 2018 Superfund Accomplishments Report is available at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-remedial-annual-accomplishments
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for NPL and proposed sites: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites