Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The Johns Manville Corp. site is in Waukegan, Illinois. It consists of both a former manufacturing facility property and adjacent contaminated areas. The property is approximately 350 acres, which includes the former manufacturing area, former parking areas, and an approximately 150-acre asbestos waste disposal area—referred to as operable unit 1 (OU1). About 3 million cubic yards of off-specification products and wastewater sludge were disposed of in OU1.

Johns-Manville ceased operations on site in the summer of 1998. All former manufacturing buildings were demolished in 2000-2001. Site areas adjacent to the Johns Manville property include the shooting range/fishing pier parking lot area (OU2), the southwestern site area (OUs 3, 4, and 8), the nature preserve road (OU6) and the Illinois Beach Nature Preserve (OU7). The Building Manufacturing Area (OU5) was enrolled in the Illinois State Remediation Program (SRP) and received a letter of No Further Remediation (NFR) (PDF) (11 pp, 329.7K, About PDF)) in 2017. The nearest residences are approximately ½ mile west of the site.

Asbestos is the primary contaminant of concern. Following extensive phased cleanups throughout the site, follow-up sampling identified seven additional areas of asbestos contamination outside of the Johns-Manville fence line.

The site consists of eight Operable Units (OUs) (PDF) (1pp, 307.47 K, About PDF): OU1, OU2, OU3, OU4, OU5, OU6, OU7, and OU8.

Operable Unit (OU) # Name Status
1 Johns Manville Corp. (JM) Waste Disposal Area Construction Completed in 2018
2 Shooting Range (Site 2) Construction Completed in 1991
3 Parking Lot (Site 3) Construction Completed in 2016
4 Sites 4/5 Construction Completed in 2016
5 Building Area (SRP) Construction Completed in 2017
6 Nature Preserve Road (Site 1) Feasibility Study (FS) in development
7 Illinois Beach Nature Preserve (Site 7) Removal Completed 2009
8 Greenwood Avenue shoulders (Site 6) Construction Completed in 2017


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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

EPA’s cleanup of this site consisted of consolidating waste into the Industrial Canal, Pumping Lagoon, and Black Ditch areas and placing clean soil with vegetation over the waste disposal areas; placing sand and gravel on all site roadways; institutional controls; and periodic sampling of air, soil cover and groundwater to ensure the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment. For the complete response action summary at the site, see Section II of the Fifth Five-Year Review Report (PDF) - 2018 (50 pp, 10.16 MB).

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What Is the Current Site Status?

JM Waste Disposal Area (OU1)

Construction activities are complete within OU1. The on-site landfill, wastewater treatment area, manufacturing areas, perimeter roads, and related areas have been excavated and/or capped with rock or a vegetated cover as required, with completion occurring in 2017. A stormwater drainage system intercepting clean stormwater runoff and discharging to Lake Michigan was installed and operational in 2017. EPA conducted site closure inspections in 2018, and JM provided two reports: Revision 1 of the Final Closure Report, Non-Asbestos-Containing On-Site Landfill (PDF)(1035pp, 50.34MB, About PDF) and the Final Closure Report for the Former Industrial Canal, Pumping Lagoon & Collection Basin, Revision 1 (PDF) (7059 pp, 479.83MB, About PDF).
Continued monitoring and maintenance as part of the operation and maintenance plan, particularly within the Settling Basin, are necessary as vegetation establishes.

Shooting Range (OU2)

Construction activities are complete within OU2. Asbestos impacted materials were removed from the upper two to three feet of the site in 2002 based on targeted sampling results. Additional asbestos material was discovered in subsurface soils during monitoring well installation, however the material was determined to be contained by the installed cover and no additional removal was necessary.

Parking Lot (OU3)

Construction activities are complete within OU3. The site was partially excavated and a clean cover / clean-soil corridor for utilities was installed in 2016. Vegetation was established by 2017. Closure reports are being developed for the southwestern area sites (OU3, 4, and 8) and closure inspections were held in 2018 and 2019.

Site 4/5 (OU4)

Construction activities are complete within OU4. Soils with detectable concentrations or visually identified asbestos-containing material (ACM) were removed from the site, clean fill was placed, and the wetland areas were mitigated. Vegetation of the site occurred in 2016. A closure inspection was held in 2018, and closure reports are being developed for the southwestern area sites (OU3, 4, and 8).

Nature Preserve Road (OU6)

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has prepared a draft Feasibility Study to cleanup residual contamination in OU6 (Site 1) also known as the Nature Preserve Road. No remedy has been selected yet. U.S. EPA has been coordinating with the Illinois EPA, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and the USACE in the development of a remedy for OU6. ACM remains in subsurface soils and may appear at the surface periodically due to freeze-thaw migration or erosion. In coordination with IDNR, contractors have occasionally picked up surficial ACM and disposed of the waste.

Greenwood Avenue Shoulder (OU8)

Construction activities are complete at OU8. Material was excavated from the site and placed in the on-site consolidation area, and a clean soil cover was completed in 2017. Closure inspections were held in 2018 and 2019, and closure reports are being developed for the southwestern area sites (OU3, 4, and 8).

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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.

Most of the site is a landfill with waste buried under protective covers that can’t be disturbed.  However, efforts to clear portions of the site could provide a pathway to partial redevelopment of the site.

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Sampling and Monitoring

Earlier cleanup efforts covered asbestos-containing areas at the site, including roadways and berms. A soil barrier topped with vegetation eliminated the potential for releases of asbestos fibers. Two parking lots contaminated with asbestos were also paved. Stone barriers, called “rip-rap,” were installed along the banks of all wastewater treatment ponds. Currently, soil cover maintenance and groundwater monitoring are ongoing at the site.

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