General Electric Morrison Facility

Fact Sheet #1
December 2011

Morrison, Illinois

Introduction

The General Electric Company (GE) located at 709 West Wall Street (Site) operated a manufacturing facility in Morrison, Illinois, from the late 1940s until 2010. The facility manufactured components for motors and motor control equipment that were assembled at other locations. Prior to 1994, GE used chlorinated organic solvents for removing oil from the manufactured components prior to use in the final product. A small immersion tank degreaser and a larger continuous process line degreaser were located in the Main Building. While no longer in operation, GE continues to take responsibility for facility-related solvents found in soils and groundwater.

Current Site Conditions

In 1986, chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) were detected in the City of Morrison water supply wells located near Rock Creek on the south side of Morrison. Under Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's (Illinois EPA) oversight, GE installed and sampled eight groundwater monitoring wells. Three of the eight monitoring wells had detectable levels of CVOCs. Groundwater samples taken from a monitoring well located at the southwest wall of the GE facility had concentrations exceeding Illinois EPA Tier 1 Groundwater standards for tricholorethene (TCE), tetrachoroethene (PCE), 1,1,1-tetrachloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) and 1,1-dichloroethene (1,1-DCE).

In 1988, GE funded the design, construction, and installation of a packed tower air stripper to treat influent groundwater from Well #3 which is still in use for the City water supply system. Since that time, GE has monitored influent to the air stripper, and the City has monitored the treated water from the air stripper at Well #3. In addition, City Well #1 which contained a hole in its casing and non-functional City Well #2 were both sealed in accordance with the Illinois Groundwater Protection Act. In 1989, a soil gas survey was conducted beneath the floor of the GE building. The highest detected concentrations of constituents of concern were 1,1-DCE, TCE, 1,1,1-TCA, and 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA). Chloroform, PCE, and 1,1,2-tetrachloroethane (1,1,2-TCA) were also detected in soil gas samples, but at lower concentrations. GE has continuously monitored groundwater in the vicinity of the City of Morrison Water Works Park and downgradient of their plant on a regular basis since 1989. Sample results indicate that the concentrations of the constituents of concern are decreasing due to natural degradation processes.

Corrective Action Status

In December 2010, a consent ordered was filed by the Illinois Attorney General's Office against GE. The Consent Order requires GE to complete a soil and groundwater investigation and address the environmental impacts associated with the chlorinated solvents once used at the site. As stipulated in the Consent Order, GE will be conducting the following environmental assessment activities:

  • Conduct a private water well survey to determine if nearby residences are utilizing private potable wells.
  • Install and collect groundwater samples from two down gradient monitoring wells to be located along Rock Creek.
  • Conduct a soil investigation beneath and adjacent to the two former degreasers.
  • Conduct a soil investigation beneath the former above ground and below ground chlorinated solvent storage tanks, along sanitary and storm sewers that are located adjacent to and beneath the GE building.
  • Prepare a report that summarizes the results, including laboratory analyses, of the investigation activities.
  • Prepare a report that details how the impacted soils and groundwater will be addressed.

In addition to the requirements of the Consent Order, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has requested GE complete a vapor intrusion investigation. The vapor intrusion investigation will determine if contaminant vapors from impacted groundwater are present and if so what risk they pose to the homeowners. The USEPA will oversee the results of the vapor intrusion investigation.

The 2010 Consent Order and October 2011 GE Facility Work Plan for the site investigation can be made available upon request.

Next Steps

  • Soil and groundwater sampling on the GE property will begin the week of December 5th.
  • The well survey letters will be sent to residents the week of December 12th.
  • The installation of off-site monitoring wells will be completed the week of December 5th.
  • Additional sampling may be conducted based on the

Contact Information

Michelle Tebrugge
Community Relations Coord.
Office of Community Relations
Illinois EPA
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
(217) 524-4825
Andrew Frierdich
Project Mgr.
Bureau of Land, State Sites Unit
Illinois EPA
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
(217) 785-8724
Steve J. Johnson, Toxicologist
Department of Environmental Health
IL Dept. of Public Health - Rockford
(815) 987-7511