Clean-up of an MGP site at an elementary school in Ottawa, Illinois, USA
Larry F. Milner

A former manufactured gas plant (MGP) site located west of the confluence of the Fox and Illinois rivers in Ottawa, Illinois, is now an elementary school ball field and Knights of Columbus picnic and recreational area. Investigation, clean-up and management of the site addressed community needs, including third-party property owner, school board member and parent concerns. Clean-up objectives were developed that resulted in significant cost savings to Nicor Gas and significant site improvements for the property owners. Site activities were performed quickly, while meeting Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) requirements and Illinois Commerce Commission prudency requirements. Field activities (investigation, clean-up and final property redevelopment/site restoration) were completed in under two years. Many lessons were learned at the Ottawa site, but none more relevant than the importance of community involvement. Nicor Gas received many accolades for work performed at the site and was recognized by the Illinois EPA and the City of Ottawa as a trustworthy partner. Illinois EPA recognized the Ottawa MGP site as a signature project – a model for MGP remediation. In addition, the reputation of Nicor Gas in the Ottawa community as a good neighbor grew significantly as a result of the project. Finally, the site was cleaned up in a cost-prudent manner and activities were completed successfully by developing a solid working relationship with the Illinois EPA and the surrounding community.

Key words:community involvement, engineered barrier, excavation, property redevelopment, risk-based remediation

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 14 (2), 303-308

DOI 10.2462/09670513.728

© 2007 EPP Publications Ltd 

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