Manufactured Gas Plant Sites (Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas)
These manufactured gas plants (MGP) sites are not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) but are considered to be NPL caliber sites and are being addressed through the Superfund Alternative (SA) approach.
In 2007 EPA entered into two separate agreements with Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas to oversee their investigation of former manufactured gas plants (MGP) for eleven sites in Chicago and for two sites in Waukegan respectively. Both companies were owned by Integrys Energy Group which has since combined with Wisconsin Energy (in 2014) to form WEC Energy Group, Inc.
The complete list of sites, with names referencing former MGP "stations".
|Area||Station Name||Address||ID number|
|Sites along the North Branch of the Chicago River
-Near Goose Island
|Division St. Station||ILD982074783|
|Willow Street Station||ILD982074759|
|Hawthorne Avenue Station*||ILN000510195|
|North||North Shore Avenue Station*||ILN000510193|
|Sites along the South Branch of the Chicago River
Near Ashland Avenue & Halsted Street
|22nd Street Station||ILD982074767|
|Hough Place Station*||ILN000510190|
|Pitney Court Station*||ILN000510196|
|Waukegan||North Shore Gas (NSG) North Plant||ILD984807990|
|North Shore Gas (NSG) South Plant||ILD984809228|
* site removed from Federal EPA Superfund program
The gas companies investigate the extent and nature of contamination at each of the sites in order to generate and evaluate potential cleanup options. Final cleanup determinations are made by EPA, in consultation with Illinois EPA, city officials and area residents. Some excavation of contaminated soil is already under way or completed at portions of some of the sites. Cleanups are ongoing with EPA and Illinois EPA oversight while the investigative work proceeds.
After a careful review of former manufactured gas plant sites along the Chicago River, in 2017 EPA decided to remove several of the 11 former manufactured gas plant sites sites (in their entirety or in part) along the Chicago River from the federal Superfund cleanup program. They are:
- North Shore Avenue Station
- Hawthorne Avenue Station
- North Station
- Pitney Court Station – including Bubbly Creek
- and Hough Place Station
EPA has determined, based on prior investigations and work done, that no additional Superfund response is needed on these sites. Any remaining contamination at these five sites would get addressed through other cleanup programs. These alternate cleanup programs expedite the cleanup process and do not reduce EPA’s ability to take future actions at the site if EPA deems it necessary for the protection of human health and the environment. These changes came into effect on October 27, 2017, after EPA approved a modification to the October 2008 Administrative Order on Consent document between the potentially responsible parties for the sites and the EPA.
All of the properties in Chicago are adjacent to the Chicago River or its channels, which provided a transportation route when the manufactured gas plants operated. These facilities produced gas from coal from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries. After World War II, coal gas was phased out and replaced with natural gas for cooking and heating. Waste from these operations often included tar, oil, cinders and coke (coal residue). The material also usually contains polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. These MGP-related contaminants are found in the soil and groundwater at these sites. Similar contaminants in soil and groundwater are found in the two North Shore Gas sites in Waukegan.