Southeast Rockford

Source Areas 9/10 and 11
Limited Environmental Investigation

Southeast Rockford Groundwater Contamination Superfund Project

April 1996

Rockford, Illinois

Background

Within the next several weeks, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) will collect soil and soil gas (air beneath ground surface) samples in Areas 9/10 and 11 of the Southeast Rockford Groundwater Contamination Superfund Project.

Why is the IEPA conducting this work?

Within the past four years, the IEPA has been investigating possible sources of industrial solvents found in southeast Rockford private wells and one municipal well. This investigation has shown that Areas 9/10 and 11 and two other areas are major sources of the groundwater (water beneath ground surface) contamination.

In 1991, the IEPA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) connected all eligible homes and businesses with private wells that violated public water supply standards to the Rockford Public Water Supply. In 1995, the IEPA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed, and the public agreed to a twopart remedy for the contaminated groundwater. First, residences and businesses with drinking water wells that may be affected by the contamination within the next 70 years will be connected to the City of Rockford water supply. Second, remedies for the sources will be selected (after public comment) to prevent or minimize ongoing releases of contamination to the groundwater.

The IEPA has results from samples previously taken in Areas 9/10 and 11 but needs additional information before proposing remedies for these areas. The upcoming sampling will provide that information by more precisely determining the location of contamination in Areas 9/10 and 11.

Health Questions

Is the Rockford Public Water Supply safe to drink?

Yes. The Rockford Public Water Supply is regularly tested for the solvents found in groundwater, and water that violates public water supply standards is not distributed to the public.

Next Steps

What happens after the IEPA completes their investigations?

If funding is available, the IEPA and U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) will complete a study of remedies and propose, for public comment, remedies for source areas 9/10 and 11 as well as two other source areas.

When will the IEPA and USEPA propose a remedy for the source of contamination in Areas 9/10 and 11?

The schedule for source Area 9/10 and 11 remedies is dependent upon funding. Currently, this project is funded by the federal Superfund program, and the federal law authorizing the collection of funds for this program expired December 31, 1995. There are sufficient funds to conduct the present investigation, but there may be no new funds to write a report describing investigation results or to complete a study of remedies until Congress reauthorizes the Superfund program.

Are there other ways of funding a study of remedies and the construction of remedies?

Yes. The USEPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, the IEPA, and the Illinois Office of the Attorney General are negotiating with parties considered responsible for the contamination. If these negotiations are successful, the responsible parties may pay for the next steps. If the negotiations are unsuccessful, the work will be funded by federal funds when those funds are available. If federal funds are used, the USEPA may elect to recover costs from responsible parties when work is complete.

Who are the responsible parties?

In 1992, based upon responses to requests for information, the USEPA notified seven companies of their potential liability for the Southeast Rockford Groundwater Contamination Superfund Project. The USEPA also demanded reimbursement for funds spent thus far on the site. The seven companies are Sundstrand Corporation, Borg?Warner Corporation, Rockford Products Corporation, Erhardt & Leimer, Inc., Gordon Bartels Co., Suntec Industries, Inc., and Estwing Manufacturing Co. This list may change as more information is gathered.

For Additional Information:

More information on the Southeast Rockford Groundwater Contamination Superfund Project may be found in project repositories located at:

Rockford Public Library
Rock River Branch
3134 11th Street
815/398-7514
(Call ahead for library hours)

Ken-Rock Community Center
3218 11th Street
815/398-8864

The Administrative Record File is on microfiche at:

Rockford Public Library
Main Branch
(215 North Wyman)

For other information contact:

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

Technical Assistance Grants

(Citizen groups desiring technical assistance in interpreting data from this investigation may be eligible for a technical assistance grant (TAG). The TAG is a USEPA program which provides up to $50,000 per site to community groups wishing to hire consultants to interpret data generated during a Superfund investigation. Twenty percent of the total funding amount must be provided by the group. These funds may be paid in cash and/or by using in?kind services. TAGS cannot be used to duplicate field or lab work. Their purpose is to give the public a better understanding of existing documents and site activities. Municipalities, other governmental agencies, political subdivisions, potentially responsible parties, academic institutions, and headquarters of public interest groups are not eligible to receive TAGs. However, members of these groups may belong to a community organization requesting a TAG. Further information about TAG is available by contacting:

Susan Pastor
TAG Coordinator
USEPA P-19J
Office of Public Affairs
77 West Jackson
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Telephone, 1-800-621-8431.