ANNOUNCEMENTS AND KEY TOPICS
On September 2020, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), began removing lead contaminated soil at residential properties in Lyons, Illinois near the former Taracorp Industries property at 7753 West 47th St. in McCook, Illinois. U.S. EPA anticipates it will clean up to 61 properties through 2022.
By the end of 2020, U.S. EPA cleaned four properties by removing lead contaminated soil, replacing excavated soil with clean soil, and placing seed or sod on four residential properties. EPA is planning to continue the residential soil cleanup activities this spring. If you live within the Taracorp Industries Soil Site boundary area and would like your property sampled, please fill out a consent for access to property form available in the Documents section of this website. You can mail the form to address provided at the bottom of the form or email it to the On Scene Coordinator, Craig Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. 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. U.S. EPA estimates that 23 additional properties that have yet to be sampled may exceed the EPA RML for lead.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITE STATUS?
In July 2020, U.S. EPA signed an Action Memorandum to conduct a time-critical removal action (TCRA) in the area. The TCRA consists 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 are properly restored; replacing excavated soil with clean soil; seeding or resodding the property; and transporting and disposing any soil that is removed at an approved disposal facility.
In 2020, before the winter season set in, U.S. EPA completed the cleanup in four residential properties. EPA continued the residential soil cleanup this spring and so far, it has completed over 20 residential cleanups this year. If you live within the Taracorp Industries Removal Boundary Area and would like your property sampled, please fill out an access agreement, or consent for access to property form, before August 15. The access agreement is available in the Documents section of this website. You can email the signed access agreement to the On Scene Coordinator, Craig Thomas at email@example.com, or call Craig Thomas at 312-886-5907 to discuss the possibility of an EPA representative picking up the access agreement from your residence.