Jump to main content.


Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator

Teresa Jones
312-886-0725 or 800-621-8431, ext. 60725

Remedial Project Manager
Stephanie Linebaugh
312-353-2315 or 800-621-8431, ext. 32315

On Scene Coordinator
Kevin Turner

Illinois Department of Public Health

David Webb
Environmental Toxicologist
Illinois Department of Public Health


(where to view written records)

Hartford Public Library
143 W. Hawthorne
Hartford, Illinois


Chemetco was a secondary copper smelting facility which operated from 1970 to 2001. Mainly they produced copper cathodes and anodes. The company owned more than 230 acres of land; however, the smelting operation occupied about 41 acres of the property.

The Chemetco Superfund site is located in Chouteau Township, just south of the Village of Hartford, in Madison County, Illinois. The 41-acre smelter site is currently fenced and access to the site is restricted by order of the Illinois EPA.

On Sept. 18, 1996, Illinois EPA discovered a discharge pipe during an inspection of Chemetco. The pipe ran to the south to a tributary of Long Lake, and generally parallel to Illinois Route 3. The pipe appeared to be a 10-inch line and was illegally discharging zinc oxide to a drainage ditch just south of the facility. It is believed this discharge had been going on for 10 years before it was discovered. Samples collected from the outfall area showed high levels of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc.

After the discovery, Chemetco was required to clean up the area. While digging up the area, layers of zinc oxide material were found to a depth of 6 feet in nearby Long Lake.

On October 31, 2001, the facility shut down and on November 13, 2001 Chemetco filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At that time, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois appointed a trustee to oversee the property. On December 7, 2001, Illinois EPA issued an order that restricts public access to most of the site and prohibits anyone except authorized personnel from entering the site.

The Chemetco site was placed on the National Priorities list in March 2010.

chemetco aerial image

Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) and Community Advisory Group (CAG) are two ways the community can get involved. Learn more about CAGs and TAGs

Site Updates | Latest Update || Fact Sheets || Legal Documents || Technical Documents

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Site Updates

Latest Update

Since 2008, under an Interim Order with the State of Illinois, the Bankruptcy Trustee and Paradigm Minerals & Environmental Services, a prospective purchaser for the site acting as a performing contractor, have made numerous improvements to the site.  They demolished and scrapped the main foundry building and the interior of the tank house.  This involved the salvage of over 3,700 tons of metals associated with the former structures and disposal of over 26,000 gallons of oils and liquids in addition to over 1,100 tons of waste.  The Foundry building had housed the smelting furnaces that Chemetco used and was the largest building on the site.  The old American Air Filter system area and the bag-house structures were also demolished.  The demolition project was completed in December 2011 with oversight from Illinois EPA and EPA. The Bankruptcy Trustee also executed asset sales that significantly reduced the presence of over 11,000 tons and 4,000 gallons of potentially contaminated source material. The trustee sold three of the facility’s four furnaces and “clean-closed” two RCRA solid waste management units at the facility (the American Air Filter System and Brick Shop).

Under the consent order, signed in September 2013, the Bankruptcy Trustee is attempting to reprocess the 900,000 tons of slag material on site into metals suitable for recycling. A portion of the profits received from this effort will be used to pay off debts and settle their liability to the Superfund Cleanup at Chemetco. The preparatory work on the reprocessing system has begun and completion of the full process is anticipated to take up to five years.

EPA intends to negotiate with PRPs to reach an agreement for performing a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the Chemetco site. The RI/FS will define the nature and extent of contamination at the site and evaluate options for cleaning it up.

Recent activity

Fact Sheets

Top of page

Remedial Legal Documents

Technical Documents

Remedial Technical Documents

Removal Technical Documents

Top of page

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.