Southeast Rockford

Source Areas 9/10 and 11
Results of Indoor Air Samples

Southeast Rockford Groundwater Contamination Superfund Project

July 2004

Rockford, Illinois

What are Source Areas 9/10 and 11?

In the 1980s, state and federal agencies found that a number of southeast Rockford private wells were contaminated with industrial solvents. The sources of these solvents were unknown at that time. During Superfund1 investigations, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) identified Source Area 9/10 and Source Area 11 as two of four major sources of this well contamination. (See map.) Information on the other two source areas is available from sources listed on the last page.

Areas 9/10 and 11 Map

Source Area 9/10

Area 9/10 (See map above.) has a long history of industrial activity extending back to approximately 1926. At that time, the Rockford Milling Machine and Rockford Tool companies merged to become the Sundstrand Machine Tool Company, which is located at the northwest corner of Area 9/10. Other companies have operated in the area. United Technologies Corporation company purchased Sundstrand. Sundstrand is now known as Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation (HS). HS manufactures and tests parts, such as fuel pumps, for the aviation industry.

What is being done to remedy Area 9/10?

In January 2003, HS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U. S. EPA) signed an Administrative Order on Consent. In this order, Hamilton Sundstrand agreed to design the Area 9/10 remedy designated in the 2002 Record of Decision. HS also agreed to reimburse the U. S. EPA and the Illinois EPA $246,403.79 in past costs as well as future oversight costs. Actual construction of the remedy will be the subject of future negotiations.

What work has HS completed at Area 9/10?

Pre-Design Investigation. Recently, HS completed the fieldwork for a predesign investigation in Area 9/10. The purpose of this investigation is to collect the information necessary to design the remedy. This information includes:

  • 170 soil samples from soil borings. These samples will give more information about the location, types and concentrations of contamination in subsurface soil. These samples will also confirm geologic conditions such as soil type (sand, clay, etc.) beneath ground surface. All the samples will be analyzed for volatile organic compounds and diesel range organics (jet fuel). Some soil samples also will be analyzed for metals.
  • Groundwater samples, including samples from 15 newly installed monitoring wells. These samples will be analyzed for volatile organic compounds and diesel range organics and will give more information about the location, types and concentrations of contaminants in groundwater. The wells will also give information about the direction of groundwater flow.

Pilot Study. HS has begun a pilot study to test, on a small scale, the effectiveness of the chosen remedy. One purpose of the test is to help determine how many soil vapor extraction wells are needed to collect the underground vapors.

1Superfund is the common name given to sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is a list of the nation’s most hazardous sites that are eligible for investigation and, if necessary, a remedy under the federal Superfund law (CERCLA). The Southeast Rockford Groundwater Contamination project was placed on the NPL in 1989.

What are the next steps for Source Area 9/10?

  1. HS is preparing a draft report summarizing the predesign investigation results. The report will include the HS assessment of site conditions.
  2. When the pilot study is complete, HS will submit a draft report to the Illinois EPA and U. S. EPA summarizing the study results.
  3. The Illinois EPA and U. S. EPA will review HS draft reports.
  4. Upon Illinois EPA and U. S. EPA approval of the predesign investigation and pilot study reports, HS will begin a preliminary design of the remedy. Upon the agencies’ approval of the preliminary design, HS will design the remedy.
  5. Upon Illinois EPA and U. S. EPA approval of the remedy design, HS will enter into negotiations with the U. S. EPA for construction of the remedy.

Source Area 11

What is Source Area 11?

Source Area 11 is an old industrial area dating back to at least 1906. (Map is on the first page.) Past industries include Rockford Varnish, Rockford Coatings Corporation and Rockwell International Graphics.

What is the status of Area 11 remedy?

The Illinois EPA has applied to the U. S. EPA for funding to design the Source Area 11 remedy. This site will have to compete with other sites nationwide for the limited federal funds available for cleanup of Superfund sites.

Areas 9/10 and 11 Contamination

Area 9/10. In Area 9/10, the main contaminants of concern are industrial solvents in a class of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs).* According to Illinois EPA data, the highest level of contamination is suspected to be near and/or under the HS facility. Because of limited access, however, the Illinois EPA was unable to conduct soil borings at these locations. The information HS collects during the predesign investigation should help answer questions about the location of the contamination.

Previous Illinois EPA investigations found high levels (18,278 parts per billion) VOCs in groundwater samples collected from a monitoring well downgradient from HS. One of the groundwater contaminants, (1,1,1-trichloroethane) is present in high enough concentrations to be undissolved in the water. Undissolved chemicals in water are called free product or non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL). NAPL is of special concern, because contamination is concentrated and continually releases chemicals into the groundwater and into the air pockets in the soil above the groundwater.

Area 11.The contaminants at Source Area 11 include chlorinated solvents and nonchlorinated solvents/ petroleum products such as xylenes.

*VOCs are called “volatile” because they vaporize (evaporate) readily and “organic” because they contain carbon.

Remedies for Areas 9/10 and 11 Remedies

In June 2002, after carefully considering public comment, the Illinois EPA and the U. S. EPA signed a Record of Decision for remedies in the four major source areas.

Area 9/10.The soil remedy for Area 9/10 is soil vapor extraction1 and treatment of vapors by granular activated carbon. The leachate2 remedy for Area 9/10 is institutional controls plus enhanced air sparging3. In addition, the Illinois EPA will install monitoring wells southwest of HS to characterize groundwater coming out of Area 9/10. The agency will determine the exact locations of these wells after evaluating data from the HS predesign investigation report. There is a contingent remedy in Area 9/10 to pump and treat the groundwater/leachate if the results of the predesign investigation indicate such a contingent is necessary.

Area 11. The Area 11 remedy is soil vapor extraction1, groundwater monitoring and restrictions on the use of property.

1Soil vapor extraction (SVE). SVE is a method of removing VOCs from contaminated soil and groundwater. Soil vapor refers to the air in spaces between soil particles beneath the ground surface. These spaces are called soil pores. Since the nature of VOCs is that they vaporize easily, they will vaporize from contaminated groundwater or soil into the soil pores. In SVE, these vapors are sucked out of the soil pores and usually pumped to the surface. The vapors are directed into a liquid vapor separator. The liquid is collected and sent off-site for proper treatment/disposal. The vapors will be treated before being released into the atmosphere. When the VOC vapors are removed from the soil pores, more VOCs vaporize from the contaminated soil or groundwater into the pores. These vapors, in turn, are extracted by the SVE system, thus gradually reducing the amount of VOC contamination in the soil or groundwater.

2Leachate. Leachate is water that has passed through waste and picked up contaminants present in the waste. In this fact sheet, the term leachate refers to all contaminated groundwater within the groundwater management zone (GMZ) boundary. The GMZ is an area of contaminated groundwater that will be treated by the Area 9/10 leachate remedy. The goal of the Area 9/10 leachate remedy will be met when groundwater at the GMZ boundary meets federal drinking water standards. The groundwater outside the GMZ will be treated by natural processes.

3Air sparging. Air sparging is a method of removing VOCs. During the process, air is forced into groundwater. Volatile chemicals then vaporize or move into the air bubbles. The air bubbles move with the chemical up to the air pockets in the soil above the groundwater (water table). Usually, air sparging is accompanied by a system, such as soil vapor extraction, where the vapors (with the chemicals) are collected and treated.

Is my water safe to drink?

If you are connected to the Rockford Public Water Supply, your water is safe to drink. The city of Rockford routinely tests its supply for possible contaminants. Water that fails to meet U. S. EPA drinking water standards is not distributed to the public.

For More Information:

Contacts: For more information about the project including fact sheets on the remedial investigation results, feasibility studies and proposed plans for each of the four major source areas, you may contact the Illinois EPA staff listed below:

Tammy Mitchell
Community Relations Coord.
Illinois EPA
1021 N. Grand Ave. E.
Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
Phone: (217) 524-2292
Thomas Williams
Project Manager
Illinois EPA
1021 N. Grand Ave. E.
Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
Phone: (815) 223-1714

Repositories: Full reports for the project may be reviewed at the following locations.

Rock River Branch
Rockford Public Library
3128 S. 11th Street
Rockford, IL 61109
815-398-7514
(Call for hours)
Ken-Rock Community Center
3218 S. 11th Street
Rockford, IL 61109
815-398-8864
(Call for hours)

Administrative record file: The administrative record file is located at the Illinois EPA headquarters in Springfield, Illinois. Call 217/782-9878 for an appointment. The administrative record file will also be located on microfiche at the Main Branch of the Rockford Public Library at 215 N. Wyman in Rockford.