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Are there risks at the site now?

There are no remaining environmental risks associated with the site; it was cleaned up to unrestricted use cleanup levels.

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Sampling and Monitoring Information

Five-Year Reviews

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Redevelopment Activity

The Kerr-McGee (Reed-Keppler Park) Superfund site is one of four sites associated with radioactive waste contamination in West Chicago, Illinois. The site spans 11 acres of a larger 90-acre area. Portions of the 11-acre site operated as a sand and gravel quarry in the late 1800s. The City of West Chicago purchased the area from the local railroad company in the early 1930s and used it as a community park with a small swimming pool, constructed in the 1950s. The area also operated as a small municipal landfill, which received waste as fill material for the quarry, from the 1930s until 1974. The landfill accepted waste materials, including radioactive tailings from the nearby Rare Earths Facility. Site operators used the waste materials to cover the landfill and provide fill in the surrounding park. While fencing surrounded the landfill area in the 1970s, investigations at the park in the 1980s found small areas of contamination scattered across the site. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. In 1993, site investigations identified additional soil and groundwater contamination. Prior to cleanup activities, the local community had expressed interest in redeveloping the property as an aquatics center. EPA worked with the local park district to perform a more focused investigation in the proposed development area. EPA, the Park District and site stakeholders identified potential areas of contamination and modified building plans for the aquatic center to meet site cleanup needs. Construction began in 1993, and the Prairie Oaks Family Aquatic Center opened on a portion of the site in 1995. Cleanup activities at the site between 1997 and 2000 removed all contaminated soil. In 2010, EPA deleted the site from the NPL. The site can accommodate unrestricted use. The redeveloped Reed-Keppler Park now features various sports fields, a skateboard park, two playgrounds, a concession stand and pavilions, a 25-acre nature sanctuary, a dog park and parking. The park is also home to the West Chicago Park District Wildcat Youth Football League. Collaboration between EPA and stakeholders has resulted in the successful remediation and reuse of this site, which provides valuable recreational opportunities for the community.

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Institutional Controls

thorium and uranium

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