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EPA adds Terre Haute, Ind., site to Superfund National Priorities List; proposes Hillsboro, Ill., site for NPL

Release Date: 03/08/2007
Contact Information: Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050, (IDEM) Amy Hartsock, (317) 233-4927 (Illinois EPA) Maggie Carson, (217) 558-1536

No. 07-OPA036

CHICAGO (March 8, 2007) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Elm Street Ground Water Contamination site, in Terre Haute, Ind., to the Superfund National Priorities List. The Eagle Zinc site in Hillsboro, Ill., was proposed for addition to the NPL. Sites on the NPL are eligible for additional study and resources under EPA's Superfund program.

Nationally, five new sites were added to the NPL, bringing the total to 1,245, and five sites were proposed for addition to the list. Under the NPL process, sites are first proposed and public comments considered, before a determination is made to formally add a site to the list.

The Elm Street site encompasses a plume of ground water contamination that could potentially affect the Terre Haute municipal drinking water supply. The plume contains the common industrial solvents tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE). At present, there is no indication of PCE or TCE concentrations in the drinking water above regulatory levels. The municipal water supplier is currently blending and treating the water to ensure safety. Adding the site to the NPL enables EPA to initiate further studies of site conditions and take preventive actions if they are needed.

The plume is about 600 feet long by 160 feet wide and lies below two properties in west central Terre Haute: a drum recycler at 800 N. Third

St., and a vacant property at 118 Elm St., which operated first as a petroleum storage facility and then as a used oil storage business. A public comment period on the proposal to add the Elm Street site to the NPL was held in late 2006.

The Eagle Zinc site, a 132-acre lead smelting operation that closed in 2003, is about 50 miles northeast of St. Louis. In 1984, 18,000 tons of waste material was removed under Illinois EPA supervision. At present, the major environmental concerns are 15 process waste piles that remain at the site. A comprehensive environmental investigation will wrap up in 2007 that will help determine the scope of site contamination and a range of possible cleanup options.

A 60-day comment period on the proposed addition of the Eagle Zinc site is now underway. Links to the Federal Register notice, information on submitting comments, background on the NPL process and summaries of the sites newly added or proposed are at

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