The Markham Dump Site is an uncontrolled and easily assessable open dump that has been the site of illegal dumping of solid and hazardous materials for as long as 30 years. A tire fire erupted in the spring of 2010 and brought attention to the open dump. The local fire and police responded to the fire. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) was alerted by the City of Markham in April of 2010, of the fire and illegal dump site located within the City of Markham in Cook County.
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IEPA responded to the Site and observed tens of thousands of tires, abandoned boats, solid waste and hazardous waste and chemicals in 55- gallon drums, compressed gas cylinders, plastic totes and large sacs of chemicals which were all abandoned on site. IEPA requested the assistance of the Illinois Attorney General’s office to enter into an agreement with the City of Markham to set up concrete barriers, police surveillance and security cameras to prevent additional dumping.
The Site is located adjacent to Interstate 294 at the 159th Street exit in Markham, Cook County, Illinois. Site coordinates are Latitude 41°35’48.59” North and Longitude -87°40’22.16” West. The Site is located in a mixed use area, including industrial, commercial, and residential areas.
The Site is an approximately 12 acre open field on the south side of Markham, Illinois. On April 7, 2010, IEPA responded to a tire fire at the Site. Inspections conducted after the tire fire revealed approximately 25,000 tires, various construction and demolition debris, drums with unknown liquids, compressed gas cylinders, swimming pool chemicals and super sacks of unknown materials. In addition, lead acid batteries were broken and the lead was removed and the casings and acid were disposed of on site. Elevated lead levels were detected in these areas using an X Ray Diffraction (XRF) instrument and confirmed with laboratory data.
In early April 2010, the IEPA conducted a preliminary inspection of the Site. During the week of April 19, 2010, the IEPA conducted private well location surveys; sampled a few private wells in the area; conducted XRF screening of on-site soils; collected miscellaneous grab samples; and collected a sample from one of the on-site totes. The private well samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOC), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOC), metals, and cyanide. The results for the private well samples indicated no detections of VOCs, SVOCs or cyanide or metal results above the removal action levels for drinking water.