FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, 2004
IL AG (312) 814-3118
IL EPA (217) 558-1536
TDD (202) 514-1888
PROPOSED AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF WAUKEGAN AND OTHERS RESOLVES SUPERFUND SITE ISSUES
CHICAGO, IL - The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Illinois Attorney General, on behalf of the Illinois EPA today announced a proposed settlement that would hasten the cleanup and redevelopment of the heavily-polluted former Waukegan Coke Plant on Waukegan Harbor. The settling defendants are the City of Waukegan, Elgin Joliet & Eastern Railway, General Motors, Larsen Marine Service, and North Shore Gas.
The Waukegan Manufactured Gas and Coke Plant Superfund site, in Waukegan, IL, is part of a larger contaminated area, the Outboard Marine Corporation Superfund Site. Outboard Marine is defunct. The City and Larsen Marine now own the Coke Plant area. The settlement assigns different responsibilities to the various settling defendants, and overall would address the entire cleanup of the Coke Plant site according to a remedial plan originally selected by US EPA in 1999.
Notice of the proposed consent decree was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. A Federal Register notice announcing a 30-day comment period is expected to be published within the next week or two. Under the terms of the consent decree, General Motors and North Shore Gas Co. will perform the remedial action for the Coke Plant site, which has an estimated cost of $27 million.
The City and Larsen will provide access to the site for GM, North Shore Gas, and the EJ&E Railway to perform the soils and groundwater cleanup. The City will be responsible for long-term operation and maintenance of the soils remedy, and GM, North Shore Gas, and EJ&E will operate and maintain the groundwater remedy.
The settlement also requires certain land use restrictions to make sure the cleanup remains effective and the property is not used in such a way as to create undue risks for occupants or visitors. But the agreement also allows the City to redevelop the site for mixed uses, including residential use, if the City takes further cleanup actions upon US EPA approval.
After being published in the Federal Register, the consent decree will be online at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/open.html. Comments should be addressed to U.S. Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 20044-7611, and should refer to United States v. City of Waukegan et al., D.J. Ref. 90-11-3-07051.