On September 1st, 2022, U.S. EPA completed a 2-year cleanup of contaminated soil at residential properties at an approximate cost of $6.4 million near the former Taracorp Industries property. During the cleanup, known as time-critical removal action (TCRA), EPA cleaned 76 residential properties that had lead levels in soil above the Removal Management Level (RML) of 400 parts per million (ppm).
The Taracorp Industries Soil Site consists of
the former Taracorp property at 7753 West 47th St. in McCook, Cook County,
Illinois, and approximately 164 residential properties located between the
south-side of 45th St. to the north, Fisherman’s Terrace to the east, 47th St.
to the south, and the 7900 blocks of 45th, 46th and 47th streets to the west in
Lyons, Cook County, Illinois.
The Taracorp Industries facility was a secondary
lead smelter that operated from 1979 through 1983. Prior to Taracorp’s
operations, the same facility was operated by National Lead Industries, Inc.
beginning in the mid-1960s. Historical Records suggest that waste material from
the property was removed after Taracorp ceased operations in 1983.
In the 1980s a portion of the property was
leased as a truck terminal and maintenance garage. In 1990, the property was
purchased by a construction demolition company. The property is currently owned
and operated by a trucking company.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO CLEAN UP THE SITE?
In the 1980s, the Illinois Environmental
Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) conducted a Preliminary Assessment and Site
Inspection on the Taracorp property to evaluate lead concentrations in soil.
Based on the elevated lead levels found on the property, the site was included
in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability
Information System, now known as the Superfund Enterprise Management System.
In 2017, Illinois EPA performed a Site
Reassessment investigation that included the former Taracorp property, as well
as neighboring residential properties in Lyons, Illinois. X-ray fluorescence
(XRF) screening and fixed laboratory results for the nearby residential
properties found that lead was present in soil at concentrations ranging from
157 mg/kg to 970 mg/kg. Seven of the properties were above U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (U.S. EPA)’s Removal Management Level (RML) of 400 mg/kg. Based on the
results of the Site Reassessment, in November 2017, Illinois EPA referred the
site to U.S. EPA to evaluate whether a soil residential cleanup, known as
time-critical removal action was needed for residential properties.
In June of 2018, U.S. EPA began sampling soil at
24 residential properties whose owners had signed access agreement forms.
Sampling continued through 2019 and a total 58 residential properties were sampled.
Results showed that 28 of the 58 properties exceeded the U.S. EPA’s RML of 400
mg/kg for lead in the top two feet of soil.
In July 2020, U.S. EPA signed an Action Memorandum to conduct a time-critical removal action (TCRA) in the area. The TCRA consisted of removing soil contaminated with lead above the RML of 400 mg/kg within the top two feet; conducting pre- and post-excavation property assessments to ensure properties were properly restored; replacing excavated soil with clean soil; seeding or re-sodding the property; and transporting and disposing of any soil that was removed at an approved disposal facility.
EPA continued sampling throughout the cleanup. EPA obtained access and sampled a total of 133 of an estimated 164 residential properties within the site boundary.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITE STATUS?
In September 2022, EPA completed a 2-year the TCRA cleanup at 76 residential properties that had lead levels in soil above 400 parts per million in the vicinity of the Taracorp Industries property. During the approximately $6.4 million cleanup, EPA removed over 11,300 tons of contaminated soil and transported it to an approved landfill facility, replaced excavated soil with clean soil, and restored residential yards. No additional cleanup activities are planned.
you have questions regarding this cleanup site you can contact U.S. EPA’s On
Scene Coordinator, Craig Thomas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by
phone at 312-886-5907; or U.S. EPA’s Community Involvement Coordinator,
Adrian Palomeque at email@example.com or 312-353-2035.