February 2023 - The packing and shipping of wastes for off-site disposal is ongoing. Also, contractors began excavating and sampling under the former plating line to determine the volume of hazardous waste in this area.
January 2023 - Hazardous and non-hazardous wastes (liquids and solids) are being packed for proper disposal based on sampling results. Also, contractors are cleaning and dismantling vats and drums. Air monitoring is ongoing and on-site workers are wearing PPE while in the work zone.
From 12/19/22 to 1/2/23, work on site was suspended to allow for analytical data to be received and for the winter holidays. 24-hour security was present during this period.
December 2022 - Sampling is being conducted on site materials and contractors are in the process of transferring hazardous substances into totes and drums to prepare for shipping and disposal. Air is being continually monitored for hazards including acid gases, asbestos, and heavy metals.
November 2022 - On November 28th, EPA began Time Critical Removal of hazardous liquid and debris. Initial action included inventorying materials, moving debris, and establishing zoned work areas. Clean up is expected to take 12-14 weeks to complete and crews will dispose of all hazardous materials off-site. Measures will be in place to ensure the work is done safely and doesn’t affect surrounding businesses and residents.
March 2022 – EPA has filed for a warrant through the US Department of Justice to start the time-critical removal at the
Specified Plating Site in Chicago. EPA is requesting authority to enter
and have continued access to the site to conduct cleanup activities that will
protect public health and the environment from a release or threat of release
of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. Once
the access warrant is granted, EPA will conduct a cleanup consisting of
removing the abandoned wastes and transporting them for off-site disposal.
Plating Co. site is located in a mixed residential-industrial area in Chicago,
Illinois. The site is made up of several connecting buildings that operated up
to three plating lines, a powder coating line, and a wastewater treatment
facility and associated maintenance areas. Operations at the Specified Plating
Co. began in 1945 and ended in October 2019 due to numerous code violations
from the City of Chicago Fire and Building Departments. These violations include
discontinued gas service and non-functioning fire suppression system. At the
time of the Site closure only one plating line was in operation.
2019, EPA received a request from Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) for
assistance to address the dangerous conditions at the site. CDPH’s request included
Specified Plating’s chemical storage, improper cyanide chemical management, and
facility disrepair. CDPH also noted numerous plating vats, totes, and
containers in poor condition that contained unknown chemicals. Due to the lack
of heat and fire suppression, there were also concerns for vandalism, fires and
potential chemical releases to the area.
EPA made visits
to the site from December 2019 to January 2020 to complete an assessment of the
facility, as well as taking inventory and sampling the materials inside. Hazardous
substances, including caustic and acidic liquids, cyanide and heavy metals, were
present in vats and in floor debris throughout the buildings. In September 2020,
EPA drafted an action memorandum for a possible Time-Critical Removal Action. Since
EPA’s site assessments, efforts to obtain voluntary access to conduct the
cleanup have been unsuccessful.
EPA’s plan to
address hazardous materials at the site included an inventory and sampling of all
substances contained in drums, tanks, and other containers; dismantle and
decontaminate any plating process equipment, vats, tanks, piping, and building
components; and remove contaminated floor debris. EPA will consolidate and
package hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants for transportation
and off-site disposal. Material will be disposed of in accordance with federal
and state requirements.