Lithium Battery Site
Starting April 2022, EPA has resumed the cleanup at the Morris Lithium
Battery Site. EPA will consolidate hazardous
substances and contaminants, and package and ship all batteries in accordance
with EPA and Department of Transportation regulations. EPA will also sample and
analyze waste, burned material, storm water, and air at the site. All batteries
and wastes will be shipped off-site for disposal.
In June 2021,
EPA mobilized to assist the Morris Fire Department with 24-hour air monitoring
and sampling support after a fire erupted at the site located at 900 E. Benton
St., Morris, Illinois. The building housed several tons of batteries including lithium
batteries, many of which were consumed in the fire. Lithium
batteries contain a flammable electrolyte that can become pressurized when
damaged causing them to rupture. This could cause the batteries to overheat and
possibly catch fire and/or explode. Additional items containing potentially
hazardous materials including solar panels and waste electronics were also
found at the warehouse. The Morris Fire Department ordered an emergency
evacuation to those living within a 1/2-mile radius of the site because of the
potential exposure of hazardous substances released into the atmosphere from
the smoke plume. EPA continued to conduct air monitoring at the site perimeter
and in the surrounding neighborhood after the evacuation order was lifted in
early July 2021.
EPA entered into a legal
agreement with the responsible party, to conduct a cleanup at site. Under the
agreement, Superior Battery, Inc would consolidate hazardous substances and
contaminants, package and ship all batteries in accordance with EPA and Department
of Transportation regulations, and perform sampling and analysis of waste,
soil, burned material, asbestos, storm water, and air. EPA has determined that
Superior Battery, Inc. was not performing several work requirements of the
legal agreement in a timely or sufficient manner and took over work according
to the terms of that agreement.
EPA was on-site
over the winter months to stabilize the building. Workers took inventory of remaining
waste materials; covered and secured materials to keep them dry; and secured
the building with fencing and locks.
Documents (Fact Sheets, Press
Releases, Tech Docs, Legal Docs, etc.) to add to the site now.
Fact Sheet: EPA FACT SHEET - EPA RESUMES CLEANUP AT WAREHOUSE (1 pp, 210.1 KB)