Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

OTTAWA RADIATION AREAS
OTTAWA, IL

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The Illinois Power Building is currently being rented out as a law office.  A restrictive convenant was issued September 2008 for the Illinois Power Building.

The Ottawa Radiation Areas Superfund site is located in LaSalle County, Illinois. The site consists of 16 areas scattered throughout the city of Ottawa. Radium Dial Company (from 1918 to 1936) and Luminous Processes, Inc. (from 1937 to 1978) made glow-in-the-dark dials for clocks and watches on site using radium-based paint. Fill material in the Ottawa area consisted of site building demolition material and soil polluted with radioactive waste from the plants. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1992. Cleanup involved removing contaminated soils and installing radon reduction systems. Institutional controls are also in place to ensure long-term protection. Private owners use the Frontage Property, a portion of the site, for commercial purposes. The Illinois Power Building sub-area, another portion of the site, currently contains a commercial building leased to a law office. The City of Ottawa uses the Luminous Processes, Inc. Adjacent sub-area, another portion of the site, as a gravel parking lot.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2019, EPA had data on 4 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 38 people and generated an estimated $2,493,000 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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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.

Surface and subsurface soils in various areas of Ottawa have been contaminated with radioactive wastes. Some buildings in the Ottawa area are contaminated with radon. Soil samples, collected from the landfilled areas, were found to have elevated levels of the radioactive contaminant radium-226.  ICs are required for the Illinois Power Buliding, NPL-1 and NPL-11.

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