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Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site

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Contact Information

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

On-Scene Coordinator
Steven Faryan (faryan.steven@epa.gov)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351

Remedial Project Manager
Illinois EPA

Jeffrey J. Guy
(jeff.guy@Illinois.gov)
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL
217-785-8724

Director of Environmental Health
LaSalle County Health
Department
Ted Pumo, LEHP
(tpumo@lasallecounty.org)
815-433-3366, ext. 223

On this page:

Background

EPA and Illinois EPA have been working in Wedon, Ill., to determine which private drinking water wells have been affected by pollution. The agencies are also investigating potential sources of the groundwater contamination. “Groundwater” is an environmental term for underground supplies of fresh water.

In 2011, residents of Wedron reported gasoline odors from their water. As a result, the Illinois Department of Public Health collected groundwater samples in October 2011 and found two homes with benzene levels above the health standard. In November 2011, the LaSalle County Health Department told these residents to no longer drink or use their well water. Illinois EPA then contacted EPA, which began the current investigation.

Beginning in December 2011, EPA collected groundwater samples from 22 residential wells and one commercial well in the town. These samples were tested for the presence of a family of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds and metals.

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Site Update

October 2015

Another investigation report is final - In late Fall 2015, U.S. EPA accepted as final the site investigation Report completed by Illinois Railway that includes results from an investigation of locations on Illinois Railway property where underground storage tanks were located.  This report and two other reports contain the results of investigations into possible sources of soil and groundwater contamination in Wedron and are available here and under the technical documents tab on this web page:     


Illinois Railway also submitted a separate Site Investigation Completion Report to the Illinois EPA’s Leaking Underground Storage Tank (Leaking UST) Program in late Fall 2015 for investigations of former UST areas on Illinois Railway property.  The Illinois EPA is reviewing the report.


Wedron Silica Company implemented an Illinois EPA-approved Leaking UST Corrective Action Plan during Summer of 2015 to address contamination identified at a former UST area on its property.  The Company must submit an amended Corrective Action Completion Report to the Illinois EPA this Winter to address some additional work needed in the area.  This contamination has been thoroughly defined and is not considered to be one of the potential source areas for the Wedron residential area groundwater contamination.

Private Well Sampling Completed – The Wedron private water well sampling event (29 wells total) was completed in Summer 2015.  The Illinois Department of Public Health sent a letter with laboratory results and interpretations to each property owner and/or occupant household to explain their specific results.
  
Likely Sources of Groundwater Contamination Identified – An October 2014 U.S. EPA memorandum titled “Evaluation of the Wedron Groundwater Site’s Identified BTEX Source Areas and Their Relationship to BTEX Groundwater Contamination in the Village of Wedron, Illinois,” an April 2015 Illinois EPA report titled “Data Evaluation Report,” and a July 2015 U.S. EPA memorandum titled “Report Review - Data Evaluation Report, Wedron, LaSalle County, Illinois, April 2015” identify likely sources of the groundwater contamination in Wedron and are available under the technical documents tab on this webpage.

Next steps - Illinois EPA is working to have a contractor perform a late Fall/early Winter 2015 pumping test of the lower aquifer in Wedron to better understand hydraulic properties of that aquifer.  The pumping test results will help identify whether the uncontaminated lower aquifer will support additional new private wells and whether it is isolated from the upper aquifer.  With that critical  information in hand, the agencies will work to identify remediation technologies and cleanup options.

Air monitoring
– U.S. EPA has received air monitoring data for the months of May, June, and July 2015 under a U.S. EPA-approved air monitoring program for particulate matter.  The program provides data on dust leaving Wedron Silica Company and Technisand operations in Wedron.  The companies will continue to submit data to U.S. EPA each month under the approved air monitoring program until February 2016 or longer if additional samples are needed.  Data collection is being overseen by U.S. EPA.  The data files for the months of February, March, and April 2015 are available under the technical documents tab on this webpage.  The data files for the months of May, June, and July 2015, are listed below and are also available under the technical documents tab on this webpage.

  1. TEOM Data- Air Monitoring Data (PDF) July 2015
  2. PM 4 Particulate Matter and Crystalline Silica Filter Data - Air Monitoring Data (PDF)July 2015
  3. PM 4 Crystalline Silica Data Summary - Air Monitoring Data (PDF)July 2015
  4. TEOM Data- Air Monitoring Data (PDF)June 2015
  5. PM 4 Particulate Matter and Crystalline Silica Filter Data - Air Monitoring Data (PDF)June 2015
  6. PM 4 Crystalline Silica Data Summary - Air Monitoring Data (PDF) June 2015
  7. TEOM Data- Air Monitoring Data (PDF) May 2015
  8. PM 4 Particulate Matter and Crystalline Silica Filter Data - Air Monitoring Data (PDF)May 2015
  9. PM 4 Crystalline Silica Data Summary - Air Monitoring Data (PDF) (May 2015


Past Site Updates

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Site History

In April 1982, Illinois EPA began a groundwater investigation in Wedron after the Illinois Department of Public Health received complaints from several residents of gasoline-type odors in their private well water. Illinois EPA collected groundwater samples from several private wells in April 1982, June 1983 and August 1983 and confirmed the presence of chemicals found in gasoline. At that time, a new deeper well was drilled to provide clean drinking water to the affected homes. In addition, an investigation of several potential sources of contamination was completed, but no source was found.

Site Description

The site is the unincorporated community of Wedron located in LaSalle County, Ill.  The site is located in a mixed rural, residential, and industrial area. North of the site are residential homes, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  To the east are the Fox River, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  To the south are the Wedron Silica sand-mining facility and mining pits; and to the west are two Wedron Silica quarries, agriculture, and undeveloped land.  Current and former commercial and industrial properties known at the site include the Fairmount Minerals Ltd., Wedron Silica Mining Co., Illinois Railway railroad company, the former Hoxsey gas station, and the former W.D. Grain Co.

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

Documents

Fact Sheets || Technical Documents || Public Meetings

Fact Sheets

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Technical Documents

Air Data

Maps and Illustrations

Investigation Reports

Pollution Reports

Additional Reports and Documents

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Public Meetings

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