Indian Refining Company

Results of Environmental Sampling in Residential Areas Near the Former Indian Refining Company Site

Fact Sheet #6
June 1999

Lawrenceville, Illinois

What type of environmental samples did U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA take on residential property?

In February 1999, U.S. EPA took some samples of suspected waste material in a one-block area between Third and Fourth Streets and between Cedar and Collins Streets (1500 block) in the southeastern part of Lawrenceville. They also took a few samples from the west side of Fourth street in the 1600 block.

In March, U.S. EPA took some random surface soil samples and performed air sampling at the Texaco Ball Park.

Early in April, Illinois EPA took some deeper soil samples and investigated the groundwater at the ball park and residential areas near two tank farms.

What have these samples revealed?

Analysis of some of the samples reveal that the material found on residential property is consistent with refinery waste material. It is similar in chemical make up to the material removed from the 1600 block of Fourth Street (between Third and Fourth) during 1996-97. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recently sent letters to the property owners to advise whether or not there is any health concern related to any contamination found in the samples. So far, none of the samples taken at the ball park reveal any contamination at levels that would pose a risk to the general public.

What is the next step? What are U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA planning to do about the waste?

U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA have negotiated with Texaco an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC), which is expected to be signed in early June. Through this legal commitment, Texaco agrees to perform a more detailed investigation of the waste material on residential properties. Additionally, Texaco will investigate the refinery and the Indian Acres waste disposal area. Texaco will put together a work plan for the residential area once the AOC is final. Once U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA have approved the work plan, extensive sampling will be performed on a larger residential area to further define the extent of the contamination. This should happen in late summer or early fall.

Is it safe for my children to play on my property or my neighbor's property if waste material is present?

The Illinois Department of Public Health does not believe that an immediate health threat exists with human exposure to the waste. However, it is best to keep small children away from the material, since they may ingest some of it, and children are more sensitive to contaminants than adults. That is why some areas have been fenced off, since the waste material of concern is near the surface where children might come in contact with it. If you have any questions about the material or your possible exposure, feel free to contact Lynn Stone, IDPH, Marion at 618/993-7010.

Will residents have an opportunity to ask questions about the waste material and about the residential soils investigation?

Yes. U.S. EPA, Illinois EPA and IDPH will hold a joint Public Availability Session on June 10 in Lawrenceville at the United Methodist Church on Twelfth Street. This is an open-house where residents are welcome to come and pose questions to the various agencies in an informal setting. IDPH is also developing a fact sheet about the site to describe the waste material to residents and explain ways to limit exposure to the material.

When will we know what action will be taken about any waste material that is found on residential property?

Once U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA have received sampling information from Texaco, they will make a decision as to what, if any, removal action needs to occur. Texaco will be given an opportunity to do the work. If they refuse, U.S. EPA will do the work. By fall of this year, a decision should be made as to who will do any corrective action to remove contamination from residential property.

For Additional Information

Carol Fuller
Community Relations Coord.
Illinois EPA
1021 N. Grand Ave. E.
Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
217/524-8807
fax 785-7725
Greg Ratliff
Project Manager
Illinois EPA
1021 N. Grand Ave. E.
Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
217/782-9882 fax 782-3258
On-site - 618/943-2399
Derrick Kimbrough
Community Involvement Coord.
U.S. EPA, Region 5
77 W. Jackson Blvd., P-19J
Chicago, Illinois 60604-3590
312/886-9749 fax 353-1155
Matthew Ohl
U.S. EPA Project Mgr.
77 W. Jackson Blvd., SR-6J
Chicago, Illinois 60604-3590
312/886-4442
fax 886-4071
Kevin Turner
U.S. EPA On-Scene Coord.
Crab Orchard Ntl. Wildlife Refuge
8588 Route 148
Marion, Illinois 62959
618/997-0115 fax 998-0425
Pager 888/954-3272
Lynn Stone
Toxicologist
Illinois Dept. of Public Health
2309 W. Main Street
Marion, Illinois 62959
618/993-7010