Zone 3, USS Lead Superfund Site
The term “Zone 3” was created by EPA to facilitate the cleanup of the three zones that comprise Operable Unit 1. Zone 3 consists of the residential area of the Calumet neighborhood located between the Elgin Joliet and Eastern Railway on the west, Parrish Avenue on the east, East 149th Place to the south and E. Chicago Avenue to the north. There are 481 properties in Zone 3.
Zone 3 Soil Remediation
EPA has completed soil sampling at all 481 properties in Zone 3. All 297 properties requiring cleanup in Zone 3 have been cleaned up and restored to the condition the property was in before the cleanup.
Contaminated soil from Zone 3 was transported to a licensed landfill for proper disposal. Clean fill was brought in to restore the properties.
All soil sampling and cleanup work in Zone 3 is complete. EPA does not plan to conduct further soil sampling or remediation within Zone 3.
Zone 3 Indoor Dust Sampling and Cleanings
EPA conducted interior dust sampling at homes where soil contamination results were above site cleanup levels. If interior dust samples results were above EPA-established levels, EPA offered property owners free interior dust cleaning to reduce potential exposure. EPA also offered indoor cleaning kits to property owners who EPA was unable to contact.
EPA has now completed all interior dust sampling and cleanup work in Zone 3. EPA does not plan to conduct further interior dust sampling or remediation within Zone 3.
First Five-Year Review Completed
In August 2021, EPA completed the first Five-Year Review at the US Smelter & Lead Refinery site. The purpose of a Five-Year Review is to evaluate the implementation and performance of a remedy in order to determine if the remedy is and will continue to be protective of human health and the environment. In addition, Five-Year Review reports identify issues, if any, found during the review and document recommendations to address them.
During the Five-Year Review process, EPA conducted public interviews on June 22 and 23, 2021 to document successes or any perceived problems with the remedy.
The methods, findings, and conclusions of the review are documented in the Five-Year Review Report, available at the link below:
First Five-Year Review Report (Signed) - US Smelter And Lead Refinery - 2021 (32 pp, 778.93 KB)
Partial Removal from National Priorities List
In September 2020, EPA removed 671 residential properties in Zones 2 and 3 of the US Smelter & Lead Refinery site from the National Priorities List, or NPL. The NPL is a roster of contaminated areas that are eligible for cleanup with federal funds under EPA’s Superfund program. EPA’s action was a partial deletion action and confirms that all soil cleanup activities at these 671 properties have been completed and meet EPA standards for protecting health and the environment.