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Record of Decision System (RODS)

OTTAWA RADIATION AREAS

Abstract

Site Name:  OTTAWA RADIATION AREAS
Address:  RTE 6 & RTE 71, OTTAWA AREA 
City & State:  OTTAWA  IL  61350
County:  LA SALLE
 
EPA ID:  ILD980606750
EPA Region:  05
 
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-00/089
ROD Date:  09/08/2000
Operable Unit(s):  01
 
Abstract:  The contamination at the Ottawa Radiation Areas is the result of activities associated with two radium dial painting companies: the Radium Dial Company, which operated in Ottawa from 1920 through 1932, and Luminous Processes, Inc. (LPI), which operated in Ottawa from 1932 through 1978. The source of contamination is radium sulfate paint that Radium Dial and LPI used in their dial painting operations. During this course of operations at these companies, their equipment, materials, buildings, and surrounding work areas became contaminated with radium-226, the major isotope of radium sulfate. Through the years, contaminated operational waste from both companies was used as fill material at various landfills throughout the Ottawa area, including the areas known as NPL-1, 4, 8, and 9. The Illinois Power (IP) site was adjacent to the LPI facility and may have received contaminated fill or residual waste from the LPI building. Debris from the demolition of the Radium Dial facility, which occurred in 1968, was probably also buried at one or more landfill in the area. The LPI building was also demolished in 1985, but the demolition was conducted by a contractor to the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety (IDNS). Contaminated debris from this demolition was disposed of at a licensed radioactive disposal facility.

Initially, the U.S. EPA and the State of Illinois discovered 14 areas in and around Ottawa with radioactive contamination and subsequently targeted them for clean-up. On July 29, 1991, U.S. EPA added the 14 Ottawa Radiation Areas, including NPL-1, 4, 8, and 9 to the National Priorities List (NPL). Of the fourteen areas, U.S. EPA prioritized residential properties and the properties most near residential areas because they posed a greater imminent and substantial endangerment to the public. U.S. EPA excavated these residential areas, including parts of NPL-1 and NPL-9 as a Superfund removal action. However, U.S. EPA did not complete these removals. Since the residential areas that posed a greater imminent and substantial danger had been addressed under the Superfund removal program, U.S. EPA investigated the sites where clean-up activities were mot completed, including NPL-1, 4, and 9, as well as some peripheral areas and areas where complete closure was not achieved, under the Superfund removal program. U.S. EPA has always designated the clean-up of NPL-8 under the Superfund remedial program.

U.S. EPA discovered the Illinois Power site during the initial Superfund removal actions. U.S. EPA discovered radon gas, a byproduct of radium-226, in the IP building and conducted a surface radiation survey and soil sampling which showed elevated levels of radium-226. Although actions were not taken at IP as part of the Superfund removal, U.S. EPA designated the site as an area of concern with follow-up needed.

OU 1
NPL-1 is an area of approximately 5 acres within the Ottawa city limits. It consists of several parcels of land located at the intersection of Lafayette and Guion Streets. To the north, the site is bordered by several residences located on Lafayette Street; to the west, the residences located ion Post Street and property owned by the YMCA; to the south, by the Fox River; and to the east, by the Marquette High School athletic field.

NPL-4 is 4.3 acres in area, on Canal Road approximately one quarter mile east of the Ottawa city limits. It consists of two parcels of land, one owned by the IDNS and one privately owned. Canal Road borders the site to the north, a residence borders the site to the east, an vacant properties border the site to the south and the west.

NPL-8, which covers approximately 17 acres, is on State Highway 71 about one mile east of the Ottawa city limits. The site was originally acquired by the Illinois Department of Public Works and Buildings in 1937. Jurisdiction over the property was transferred to the Illinois Department of Conservation (IDOC) in 1951 and then to the IDOC's successor agency the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in 1995. Finally, in August 1999 jurisdiction of the property was transferred to the IDNS for the duration of the remediation of the site. It is bordered by a defunct landscaping company and State Highway 71 on the southeast, a car dealership on the south and southwest, the Fox River on the northwest, and water-filled clay pits on the northeast.

NPL-9 consists of two parcels of land, totaling approximately 1.9 acres in area, within the Ottawa city limits. One parcel, at the northwest corner of the intersection of Marquette and Chestnut Streets is owned by Etna Oil Company. This parcel is bordered on the east and south by Chestnut Streets, respectively, to the west by residences, and to the north by rail road tracks.
 
Remedy:  Because of the reasonably anticipated future residential land use of the properties at NPl-1, 4, 9, and Illinois Power (IP), remedy components for these sites were limited to complete excavation of soils above the clean-up level; backfilling excavated areas with clean material; and disposal of the excavated material at a licensed radioactive material landfill. In addition to these components, U.S. EPA anticipates the use of technologies or methodologies to reduce the volume of radioactive soils shipped off-site by separating out soils contaminated above the clean-up level as efficiently as possible.

Future use at the NPL-8 site is anticipated by the State of Illinois to be high-end recreational use. This future scenario allowed the U.S. EPA to initially examine a number of remedy components for NPL-8, including capping technologies and excavation to varying depths. Capping technologies include institutional controls to restrict use of the property; soil consolidation; and the placement of a multi-layer engineered cap or a low permeability soil/clay cover. Similar to the remedies examined for NPL-1, 4, 9, and IP, excavation includes contaminated soil removal; volume reduction; backfilling with clean material; and off-site disposal at a licensed radioactive landfill. However, in the case of NPL-8, U.S. EPA looked at removal to 5 feet and 10 feet bgs as well as complete excavation.

Organic and/or inorganic chemical contaminants have been found at all the sites. Additional sampling will be conducted at NPL-1, 4, 9, and the IP site as pre-design activities to determine the extent of chemical contamination. If organic and/or inorganic chemical contamination requires further remediation beyond the area of defined radiological contamination, U.S. EPA will modify this Record of Decision (ROD) through either an Explanation of Significant Differences or ROD Amendment as appropriate.

Since U.S. EPA found that groundwater was not significantly impacted at any of the sites, there are no specific remedial components for groundwater contamination. However, contaminated perched water was discovered at some of the sites and as part of excavation activities perched water may be encountered, particularly for the complete excavations alternatives proposed for NPL-4 and NPL-8. Remedial components for perched water include filtering to remove particulates, which based on water quality data contain most of the contamination, and discharge to the local municipal water system or the Fox River via a National pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitted outfall. Filter cake material will be dealt with similar to contaminated soils.

Cost
Capital Cost: Not provided.
Annual O&M Cost: Not provided.
Total O&M Cost: $430,000
Present Worth Cost: $44,353,000
 
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