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Sandoval Zinc Company

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (leon.heriberto@epa.gov)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163

Remedial Project Manager
Pamela Molitor
312-886-3543 800-621-8431, ext. 63543

Additonal Site Contacts
Michael Haggitt
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Protection Engineer


(where to view written records)

Sandoval Branch Library
118 East Commercial
Sandoval, IL


Sandoval Zinc Company operated as a primary and secondary zinc smelter for 85 years in Sandoval. Zinc smelting is the process for converting ores that contain zinc into pure zinc. The company closed in 1985 and then claimed bankruptcy. Waste emissions from the plant were metal laden cinder/slag and windblown ash. Large amounts of the cinder/slag from the smelting were used in constructing and surfacing secondary roads in the plant and for fill material on the property. The cinder/slag material that was not used by the plant was offered to the public and Village of Sandoval to construct surface roadways, driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. Many areas exhibit evidence of using cinder/slag, some of which has been covered with concrete.

As part of an expanded site inspection of the Sandoval Zinc Company, EPA asked residents for permission to test their property for lead. The purpose of the sampling was to find out how much and where pollutants may have moved from Sandoval Zinc into surrounding neighborhoods. Once permission was received, EPA sampled about 90 properties during a few week period in August 2010. For the properties that showed a level of soil contaminant that required removal, EPA took action to remove the contaminated soil and replaced it with clean soil.

Site Updates | Latest Update | News Releases | Fact Sheets | Technical Documents

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Site Updates

April 2014

During March 2014, EPA continued its remedial investigation by conducting Phase II sampling of the properties adjacent to the Sandoval Zinc smelter property.  The field sampling of soil, sediment and groundwater as well as fish tissue and plant tissue was completed in early April. As part of the Remedial process, EPA will evaluate the sampling data in order to determine whether and where the site contaminants have migrated as well as the risk to human health and the environment. This information will be contained in a Remedial Investigation Report.  The process of analyzing data and evaluation will take several months.

August 2013

EPA conducted Phase I sampling on the site of the zinc smelter and surrounding area including the pond area to the east of the site and the wetland area to the south in December 2012. In April 2013 EPA conducted background soil sampling to determine the baseline soil composition of the area soils. Both of these sampling events are part of the Superfund Remedial Investigation that is being conducted at the site. The investigation is the first step in the remedial process to determine a long-term remedy for the site.

July 2012

EPA staff will be in Sandoval, Illinois to talk with its residents, local officials, community leaders, media representatives, and potentially responsible parties about community concerns regarding the Sandoval Zinc site. These community interviews will help the EPA site team learn how and when Sandoval residents want to be involved so EPA can prepare a meaningful community involvement plan (CIP).

Typically, these interviews are conducted one-on-one in the person‘s home or office. When it is completed, the CIP will specify outreach activities that the EPA expects to undertake in the coming years to involve Sandoval residents as the cleanup project progresses.

The Sandoval interview dates are July 31, August 1 and August 2. EPA invites you to participate in these interviews by calling Heriberto León, Community Involvement Coordinator at 312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163 or at leon.heriberto@epa.gov.

September 2011

The Sandoval Zinc Company site has been added to the Superfund program National Priorities List. The National Priorities List is EPA's list of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for long-term cleanup. EPA will try to identify any local parties potentially responsible for the contamination. For sites without a viable responsible party, EPA investigates the full extent of the contamination before starting any significant cleanup. When a site is added to the NPL it is eligible for financial resources to fully characterize the extent of the contamination and develop a cleanup plan.

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