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Amoco Chemicals (Joliet Landfill)

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Janet Pope (pope.janet@epa.gov)
312-353-0628 or 800-621-8431, ext.30628

Remedial Project Manager
Giang-Van Nguyen
312-886-6726 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66726


(where to view written records)

None available


Amoco Chemicals Corp. manufactures chemicals on a 75-acre property approximately 6 miles southwest of Joliet, Will County, Illinois. According to information the company provided to EPA, as required by Section 103(c) of CERCLA, about 5 million cubic feet of wastes, including organics, inorganics, heavy metals, acids, and mixed municipal refuse, were disposed of in a 6-acre landfill on the property during 1958-72. Some ignitable wastes and organic acid residues were disposed of in drums in the landfill. In 1976, Amoco covered the landfill with 2 feet of compacted clay and seeded it with perennial grasses.   The landfill was officially closed in February 1978. Tests conducted by Amoco in 1982 and IEPA in 1974 indicate that monitoring wells downgradient of the site are contaminated with benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and para-, meta-, and ortho-xylene. A shallow aquifer underlies the site. Approximately 1,100 persons obtain drinking water from private wells drilled into the aquifer within 3 miles of the site. According to IEPA, leachate from the old landfill flows into an inlet to the adjacent Des Plaines River. IEPA tests detected phenol, cadmium, copper, lead, and managanese in the river, which is used for recreational activities. The site is open to the river, making it possible for people and animals to come into direct contact with hazardous substances

Site Updates | Latest Update| Technical Documents || Five-Year Reviews

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Site Updates

December 2013 Update

The Amoco Chemical Joliet Landfill site is located in Channahon Township, Will County, Illinois. The site consists of two inactive landfills that total 26 acres in area and an adjacent slough area. The site is located 600 feet west of the Des Plaines River and south of Amoco Chemical's 750-acre active chemical manufacturing facility which produces isophthalic acid, trimellitic anhydride, maleic anhydride, and polystyrene. T he nearest population center is the village of Channahon, approximately two miles west of the site, with a population of 5,256 in 1993. About 5.9 million cubic feet of wastes from Amoco Chemical's manufacturing processes that include isophthalic, terephthalic, benzoic, toluic, and trimellitic acids, aromatic aldehydes, cobalt and manganese acetates, cobalt, manganese, cerium, sodium bromide, zinc, acetic acid, polystyrene, dimethylterephthalate, styrene, mineral oil, rubber, chromium, iron, and copper; activated carbon, construction materials, insulation, and general refuse were placed in the landfills from 1958 to 1976. Some wastes were contained in drums. Amoco Chemical is the owner, operator, and generator at this site.

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

The groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that include benzene, toluene, and xylene. The leachate is contaminated with the heavy metals cadmium, copper, lead, and chromium. Coming into direct contact with contaminated groundwater may pose a potential health threat. The site is open to the river, making it possible for people and animals to come into direct contact with hazardous substances.

Amoco Chemical and the State of Illinois have performed a remedial investigation (RI) and focused feasibility study pursuant to provisions of a consent decree (CD) with the state. A Record of Decision (ROD) for the Landfill Operable Unit (LFOU) was signed in 1999. A remedial design/remedial action RD/RA CD for the LFOU was lodged in April 2000. Remedial action began in May 2000 and was substantially completed by January 2001. The final construction inspection for LFOU was conducted on August 23, 2001. Following completion of construction of the landfill cap, the project entered the interim groundwater monitoring period with groundwater monitoring performed on a quarterly basis to assess the effectiveness of the landfill cap. The Illinois EPA and its contractor, Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM), have performed quality assurance oversight during the quarterly ground water sampling events. Illinois EPA approved the interim groundwater monitoring program on November 9, 2001. Some new groundwater monitoring wells and piezometers were installed in November and December 2001. The interim groundwater monitoring was initiated in December 2001. Groundwater monitoring frequency was altered from monthly to quarterly in 2009.
PRP completed an additional Supplemental Remedial Investigation for Groundwater Operable Unit (OU2) in November 2011 to address data gaps relating to the nature and extend of groundwater impacts associated with the site. These data gaps were identified from the 1998 Final Remedial Investigation Report.
The OU2 will be evaluated under a separate feasibility study, proposed plan, and Record of Decision, which is scheduled to issue in December 2012.

November 2013 Update

Landfill cap operable unit (LFOU):
The first Five-Year Review was completed on September 29, 2005. The second five-year review report was completed on September 23, 2010. The latter report concluded that the constructed remedy at the Landfill Operable Unit will be protective of human health and the environment in the long term upon attainment of groundwater cleanup goals. In the short term, exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled through institutional controls, site access restrictions, and Operation and Maintenance Plan activities. However, the leachate seeps need to be expeditiously addressed so that the remedy will be protective for an intermediate period. The next five year review is scheduled to be completed by September 2015.

Groundwater operable unit (GWOU)
The GWOU will be evaluated under separate documents and a remedy selected and implemented before the next Five Year Review due in 2015. A remedy for the GWOU will be established by another Record of Decision. Development of a ROD for the GWOU will include investigation of groundwater monitoring data and a determination of the LFOU remedy's effectiveness in preventing site waste materials from leaching contaminants into groundwater.

Currently, there are seven residences using groundwater within one mile of the landfill. Based on groundwater flow direction these wells are not expected to be affected by the landfills.

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