Jennison-Wright Corporation Superfund Site

Fact Sheet #1
June 2008

Granite City , Illinois

Background

The Jennison-Wright Corporation site is an abandoned railroad tie-treating facility and is comprised of approximately 20 acres at 900 West 22nd Street within the corporate boundaries of Granite City, Madison County, Illinois. Jennison-Wright treated wood products (railroad ties and wood block flooring) with pentacholorphenol (PCP), creosote, and zinc naphthenate. Operations at the facility began prior to 1921 and continued until 1989 with three separate companies operating at the site: Midland Creosoting Company (prior to 1921-1940), The Jennison-Wright Corporation (1940-1981) and 2-B-J.W., Inc. (1981- 1989), authorized to do business as Jennison-Wright Corporation. “Jennite” (an asphalt sealer product composed of coal tar, pitch, clay, and water) was manufactured in the southeastern corner of the facility. The process began in the early 1960s and continued until the summer of 1986 when Jennison-Wright sold the “Jennite” process to Neyra Industries. Neyra Industries continued manufacturing the asphalt sealer until bankruptcy in 1989. Jennison-Wright Corporation filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in November 1989, with an auction held in 1990 to sell the remaining equipment and materials and a site seal order was imposed. The site has remained vacant since 1990 except for the occasional trespasser or scavenger and periodic visits by Illinois EPA personnel and its contractors. In June 1996, the Jennison-Wright site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) or “Superfund” list which is the Federal listing of sites that have known or threatened releases of hazardous substances pollutants, or contaminants. No financially viable responsible parties were identified to fund the cleanup. Without Federal Superfund money, the site would not have been cleaned up. Ninety percent (90%) of funding for remedial and removal efforts are obtained through the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), with the state providing a ten percent (10%) match.

Remedial and Removal Activities to Date

In 1992, approximately $150,000 of trust fund money from the bankruptcy was used to alleviate the spread of contamination. In 1994, Federal money was used to conduct a non-time critical removal action which included installation of a six-foot chain link fence; installation of a protective cap over the "Jennite pit"; excavation and disposal of soils around the upright storage tanks and railroad cars and subsequent decontamination and dismantling of those storage vessels; removal and treatment of various on-site waste materials and contaminated soil; and characterization and proper disposal of the material within the drums inside the on-site Transite building. The approximate cost of the non-time critical removal action was $800,000. In 2003 and 2004, Federal monies (approximately $1,200,000) were again used to complete the demolition portion, including asbestos removal, of the selected site remedy and to prepare the site for further remedial action. The 2005 remedial action included extensive remedial activities in the portion of the site located north of 22nd Street, specifically, the removal and hazardous waste disposal of on-site wastes and continued monitoring of the in situ biological groundwater treatment. Remedial activities associated with soil for this northern parcel are essentially completed, and the majority of the groundwater beneath this parcel has been successfully remediated.

In summary, the following remedial and removal activities, including stabilization efforts, have been conducted at the Jennison-Wright Superfund site since 1992:

  • On-site buildings and structures have been demolished and asbestos-containing materials found inside have been abated.
  • Debris and miscellaneous items that littered the site have been removed.
  • On-site drip track residues/oil and rails have been removed.
  • Eighty percent (80%) of waste and soil removal work has been completed. Since excavation began, 34,305 cubic yards of wood-preserving waste was excavated and disposed of off-site; 49,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of off-site. Soils contaminated with PCPs were transported to an off-site incinerator in Canada. Additional excavated materials (not containing wood- preserving contaminants) were transported to a disposal facility (non-hazardous waste landfill) located in East St. Louis.
  • The highly-contaminated groundwater plumes containing PCPs have been addressed by utilizing an enhanced biological treatment using oxygen release compounds. This treatment has resulted in successfully addressing the dissolved phase of PCP contamination.

Current Activities

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) and USEPA will be funding the current remedial activities being conducted at the Jennison-Wright Superfund Site. This work includes:

  • the excavation and disposal of the remaining on-site contaminated soil and waste; and
  • additional groundwater remediation consisting of the current biological treatment, in addition to using a hot water and steam flushing system. Monitored natural attenuation will be used where the groundwater contamination is much lower.

The contractor has begun work on-site. Waste and soil removal and disposal will be completed this calendar year, taking approximately five to six months; it is estimated that the final volume of soil removed from this site will be approximately 94,000 cubic yards. It is estimated that complete construction for the groundwater remediation system will take about one year; it is expected to be completed by Summer 2009. Once constructed, it is expected that the hot water and steam flushing system used to remove additional groundwater contamination will continue its operation from 2009 until 2017. The estimated remaining costs to complete the remedial action at the Jennison-Wright site is $10.7 million, plus an additional $1.2 million for the operation and monitoring of the groundwater flushing system.

For more information, you may contact:

Erin Rednour, Remedial Project Manager
NPL Unit
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 North Grand Avenue East, P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
217.785.8725
Michelle Tebrugge, Community Relations Coordinator
Office of Community Relations
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 North Grand Avenue East, P.O. 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
217.524.4825
Mary Tierney, Remedial Project Manager
Office of Superfund Remediation
U.S. EPA (SR-6J)
77 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
312.886.4785
Jeff Kelley, Community Involvement Coordinator
Office of Public Affairs
U.S.EPA (P-19J)
77 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3507
312.353.1159