EPA to Recover $1.95 Million for Cleanup Costs in Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood
CHICAGO (Dec. 20, 2021)- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would recover $1.95 million in cleanup costs through a proposed settlement with H. Kramer & Co., BNSF Railway Company, and the City of Chicago. EPA incurred the costs while overseeing cleanup of lead-contaminated soil in the Pilsen neighborhood from 2015 to 2018.
“The money recovered in this case will help clean up more pollution and protect the health of the people we serve,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Cleaning up lead-contaminated soil in communities that are overburdened by pollution is an essential part of EPA’s mission.”
EPA oversaw the soil cleanup of two areas in Pilsen from 2015 to 2018. One consisted of residential properties where surface soil contaminated with lead may be attributed to emissions from H. Kramer’s brass and bronze foundry at 1345 West 21st St. in Chicago. The other area consisted of a nearby alley owned by the city and a railroad spur once used by BNSF adjacent to the foundry.
EPA will deposit the $1.95 million payment into a Pilsen Area Soil Site Special Account to be used to conduct or finance response actions at or in connection with the site, or to be transferred to the EPA Hazardous Substance Superfund.
The proposed settlement is in the form of a consent decree lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The consent decree is subject to 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The consent decree will be available for viewing at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.
For more information about the Pilsen Area Soil Site: https://www.epa.gov/il/pilsen-area-soil-site
To learn more about EPA's Superfund cost recovery efforts, go to https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/superfund-cost-recovery.