The former Citizen's Gas & Electric Company (Site) is located between 10th and 11th Avenues and 6th and 8th Streets in the City of Council Bluffs (City), Pottawattamie County, Iowa. The Site is zoned for commercial use and the surrounding area is mainly commercial and industrial, with some residential areas ¼ mile from the Site.
The Site operated as a gas manufacturing plant from 1870 to at least 1932. Coal carbonization was the method of gasification utilized at the Site from 1870 to 1882. Oil replaced coal in the gasification process in 1882; however, coal gas equipment was maintained at the plant until at least 1949. By 1930, the City had converted to natural gas, relegating the plant to operational status for emergency use only. In 1952, a propane air plant began operating at the Site.
While the gas plant was operating, by-product tars and carbon were produced along with the gas. A variety of oil-based feedstocks were used to produce gas, including kerosene, diesel oil and bunker C fuel oil. Contaminants and wastes typically associated with gas production include Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX), Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxide waste, tar residues, sludge, wastewater, ash, and phenolic and ammonia compounds. By-product tars produced during gasification at the Site were refined into products (i.e., creosote, road tars, and fuels) or disposed of on-site.
A majority of structures associated with the former Manufactured Gas Plant (FMGP) have since been demolished. However, a review of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Storage Tanks database identified multiple leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites in the general site vicinity. IDNR also identified the need for further assessment to be performed in locating tar separators and underground piping associated with this type of operation in order to characterize its contents.
Past investigations conducted have identified Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylene (BTEX) and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the soil and groundwater at the Site. BTEX and PAHs are designated as hazardous substances pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 302.4.
As of September 30, 2020, the Respondents, Black Hills Energy, Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), and T&A Real Estate signed an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (ASAOC) in which all have agreed to perform an Engineering Evaluation/ Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to determine if contamination on site poses a threat to human health.
Additional information on the site can be found at the following link: https://programs.iowadnr.gov/contaminatedsites/Site/Detail/164