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EPA in Illinois

127th Street Soil Site

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Site Description

The 127th Street Soil Site consists of the Hegewisch Little League Field located at 12710 South Carondolet Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60633.  In 2019, U.S. EPA collected soil samples in the field as part of an investigation into potential manganese soil contamination in a residential area near the Watco Terminal and Port Services facility in Chicago. See Watco Terminal site sampling area (PDF) (1 pp, 1.3MB, About PDF). The Little League Field was separated from the Watco residential soil site because its contamination was found to not be associated with the Watco facility. The Agency refers to the field as the “127th Street Soil Site”.

More information:
EPA portal for Watco Terminal and Port Services
Environmental Issues in Southeast Chicago

Cleanup Completed - September 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed a time-critical cleanup in August 2020 at the 127th Street Soil site to protect public health and the environment. The cleanup consisted of digging up and disposing of contaminated soil, backfilling excavated areas to original grade with clean soil, and landscape restoration. About a third of the baseball field’s area (six grids out of a total of 18 that the field was divided into for soil sampling) had action level exceedances above 400 mg/kg lead and/or 68 mg/kg arsenic within the top foot of soil. The action level is referred to as the U.S. EPA Removal Management Level (RML). The federal agency removed approximately 1,187 tons of lead and arsenic-contaminated soil. Contaminated soil was sent to a permitted landfill in Brook, IN. Engineering controls such as dust suppression were used to protect workers and nearby residents. Air monitoring was conducted to determine dust levels during the excavation work.

News Releases:

EPA completes cleanup of Hegewisch Little League Field, 9/16/2020

EPA begins soil cleanup at Hegewisch Little League field on Chicago’s Far South Side, 7/6/2020

More information: EPA Action Memorandum, March 3, 2020 (PDF) (24p, 3.66MB, About PDF)

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Site Background

In 2019, U.S. EPA collected soil samples near the Watco Terminal and Port Services facility in Southeast Chicago to analyze them for manganese and other metals to determine whether the metals in soil posed an unacceptable health risk to residents and whether any follow-up action would be required. The targeted sampling area covered roughly between East 126th Place to the north and East 127th and 128th streets to the south, South Torrence and South Muskegon avenues to the west and South Carondolet Avenue to the east. The sampling results show that manganese was not present in soil at concentrations that exceed the U.S. EPA removal management level (RML). U.S. EPA collected soil samples in the Hegewisch Little League baseball field as part of this investigation in 2019.