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EPA in Illinois

Loewenthal Metals Corp. Site

EPA concluded in September 2013 the cleanup at the former Loewenthal Metals site in Chicago to remove high concentrations of lead in the soil and ensure that the property is safe for residential use in the future. The City of Chicago also conducted its own cleanup of a portion of land that it owns immediately adjacent and east of the Loewenthal site in October 2013 to address high lead levels in that soil. EPA continues to work with the City of Chicago and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to determine next steps to address contamination adjacent to the Loewenthal Metals site. Refer to the City Combined Work Plan and Summary Report for more information.


Loewenthal Metals is a former industrial site at 947 W. Cullerton St. in Chicago, Ill. The half-acre site is in a largely residential area, just west of Interstate 90/94. Historical records indicate that the facility operated as a lead and zinc smelter, as well as a scrap metal dealer, during the 1940s. The smelter ceased operations in the early 1950s. It appears that the building was razed after a fire at the facility around that time and all of the demolition debris was buried on site and covered with soil. The building demolition debris was used to fill the basement.

In December 2011, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency referred the site to EPA for a potential cleanup action. EPA began to investigate and was unable to get a response from the current owners regarding access. Lead, arsenic, copper, mercury, and zinc were found to be at high levels at the site.

EPA's cleanup removal action went from June to September 2013. There were three community meetings held to provide information to the public—in March 2013, June 2013 and September 2013—in addition to door-to-door visits and other similar activities in the neighborhood.

Site Documents

For a list of documents relating to this site, visit the Loewenthal Metals Corp. site Special Collection page.