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Taylor Springs, Ill., site proposed for Superfund National Priorities List

Release Date: 04/19/2006
Contact Information: (EPA) Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050, (Illinois EPA) Maggie Carson, (217) 558-1536,


(WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 19, 2006) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that a former metal smelting property in Taylor Springs, Ill., owned by ASARCO, has been proposed for addition to the Superfund National Priorities List. Nationally, six sites were added to the list and four were proposed for addition to the list. The sites are named in today's Federal Register. The ASARCO Taylor Springs site is the only site of the 10 in EPA Region 5, the Great Lakes states.

The NPL guides EPA in determining which sites warrant further federal action. Since Superfund's inception, cleanup at about 70 percent of NPL sites has been paid for or performed by parties held responsible for the contamination. For the newly listed or proposed sites, EPA does not expect to need significant construction funds for several years, until thorough investigations of the sites are completed.

The 181-acre Taylor Springs site currently contains a zinc smelter and zinc oxide production facility owned by ASARCO. The zinc oxide facility was operated by American Zinc Lead and Smelting Co. (now Blue Tee Corp.) and more recently by Midwest Zinc. Pollution on the property -- including contaminated soil and two production waste slag piles containing lead, arsenic, cadmium and other metals -- dates to 1911. Some waste materials were also used for in-fill at nearby residential properties.

Since 1994 ASARCO has performed a series of site investigations under the supervision of Illinois EPA. With the site's proposed NPL listing, EPA and Illinois EPA will work jointly to move the remediation process forward.

With today's Federal Register notice, a 60-day public comment period on the proposed NPL listing begins. More information, including background information about the NPL process and information about submitting comments on the proposed sites is at

The just-added sites bring the total to 1,244 final NPL sites, with 59 proposed sites awaiting final agency action. Cleanup construction has been completed at 970 sites.

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