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Sampling to Begin at the Hegeler Zinc Superfund Site

April 2006

Hegeler Zinc Superfund Site
Hegeler, Illinois

View this Factsheet as a PDF file (PDF) (2pp, 127K)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be sampling areas in and around Hegeler to determine the levels of contamination caused by former smelting operations at the Hegeler Zinc Superfund site. The sampling begins the week of April 17 and continues for about three weeks. Sampling of soil, mud (sediment), surface water and underground water (ground water) will occur both on the site and in the surrounding area. The sampling results will be used to determine any risks to human health and the environment as well as methods to remedy any problems.

Background information

This 100-acre site was a zinc smelting facility from 1906 until around 1954. It is located west of the village of Hegeler, which is south of Danville, Ill. It is in a rural area, bordered by farmland on the west and the north. Hegeler Zinc produced various grades of zinc slab and rolled zinc products as well as sulfuric acid. The smelting operation resulted in large amounts of slag (through a burning process), which was stored in piles on the site. The slag material contains unburned residues and metals such as lead, arsenic and zinc.

Illinois EPA collected on-site soil, waste (slag), sediment and ground-water samples. They also did off-site sampling which included residential soil and sediment samples. Following the investigation, and based on sampling results, Illinois EPA requested that EPA install a six-foot-tall chain link fence around the site to prevent trespassers from coming in contact with the contaminated soil and waste material. This fence was put up in May 2003.

In 2004, Illinois EPA nominated Hegeler Zinc to the National Priorities List for hazardous waste sites eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program. In April 2005, Hegeler Zinc officially became an NPL site.

Planned actions

EPA representatives will be available to respond to any questions or comments regarding the upcoming sampling at a meeting on Tuesday, April 18, 2006, at the Tilton Village Hall, 1001 Tilton Road. The village phone number is (217) 477-0801. The public is invited to come between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to get information and to ask questions about the sampling.

EPA will use the sampling results to develop a list of possible cleanup actions if needed. EPA will then present these possible solutions to the community in the form of a document called a proposed plan. The community will be asked to give input to the plan. This input will be considered in rendering a decision on any additional cleanup. The completed remedy will then be monitored over time to ensure effectiveness. The public will be informed throughout this process through mailings and public meetings.

Public meeting

EPA representatives will be available to respond to your questions and comments regarding the upcoming sampling project at a public meeting:
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Tilton Village Hall
1001 Tilton Road

Information repository

Copies of the documents related to the investigation and cleanup of the Hegeler Zinc Superfund site will be available at:
Danville Public Library Archives/Reference Department 319 N. Vermilion St.
Westville Public Library Reference Department 233 S. State St.

Technical assistance grants

The technical assistance grant program provides up to $50,000 to community groups to hire technical advisors so citizens can better understand and interpret Superfund-site related technical information. Groups must represent the entire community, hire reputable advisors to review and interpret technical information in lay terms, and use their grant money to inform everyone rather than only group members.

For further information see the contacts for this site.

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