Morris Lithium Battery Site

 
Site Contact:
Leonard Zintak
On-Scene Coordinator

(zintak.leonard@epa.gov)

Site Location:
747 East St (East St & Benton St)
Morris, IL 60450
response.epa.gov/morrislithiumbatterysite

Morris Lithium Battery Site

Site Update  

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.

Site Background

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.

Contact Information

Len Zintak

On-Scene Coordinator

312-886-4246

zintak.leonard@epa.gov

Ruth Muhtsun

Community Involvement Coordinator

312-886-6595

muhtsun.ruth@epa.gov

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)