Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:


Cleanup Activities

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The Lake Calumet Cluster site is a group of land and waste storage and disposal facilities in southeastern Chicago. The site covers 87 acres. Facility operations contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides and metals. Following initial investigations, the site’s groundwater remedy is under development. Remaining activities for soil cleanup – finishing construction of a landfill cap – will be coordinated with the groundwater remedy.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site has been addressed through federal and state actions.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Update 2016
Phase 3 field work began this March with the installation of monitoring wells. The wells allowed groundwater sampling to begin in April and May. The potentially responsible parties, or PRPs, are currently awaiting the groundwater results from the laboratory.  Groundwater samples will be collected quarterly for one year before the PRPs can prepare a draft Remedial Investigation, or RI, and Risk Assessment, or RA, reports.  The investigation and assessment will determine what kinds of pollutants are present on the site, where they are and how much risk they pose to human health and the environment. Provided no additional RI field work is needed, the PRPs are expected to submit the draft RI and RA reports in the fall of 2017.   The PRPs will also prepare another report called a feasibility study, or FS. The FS outlines cleanup options and costs. EPA officials will then pick what they think is the best all-around cleanup alternative from the FS and issue a document called a record of decision, or ROD. The ROD describes the steps to be taken to clean up the site. Before a ROD can be issued, the PRPs will need to submit a final approved RI, RA and FS. The ROD is tentatively scheduled for 2020.  

Prior Work

On June 3, 2013, the PRPs signed an Administrative Order on Consent, or AOC, to perform a Remedial Investigation for the groundwater operable unit called OU2.  Complex cleanup sites are often divided into smaller units called operable units or OUs. In accordance with the AOC, EPA had to obtain access from the property owners before the PRPs could begin field work.  EPA did a title search in 2013 and sent out request for access letters to property owners in 2014.  EPA was unsuccessful in obtaining access and had to pursue a warrant through the courts.  In March 2015, the U.S. District Court judge signed an Exparte Administrative Warrant for Entry to the site. This gave EPA access.  EPA approved the PRP’s OU2 RI/FS Work Plan, Field Sampling Plan, and Quality Assurance Project Plan in September 2015. 
The PRPs began Phase 1 field work last fall with the installation of instruments for measuring the depth of the groundwater underneath the site. These instruments are called piezometers. The PRPs then collected water level measurements.  Phase 2 field work began in November/December last year with installation of HPT borings and subsequent Vertical Aquifer Profile sampling.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Arsenic, barium, chromium, lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesitcides, naphthanene, benzo(a)pyrene. benzo(a)anthrancene, chrysene, and pesticides. 

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Sampling and Monitoring


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