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EPA interim cleanup plan for Hillsboro Superfund site; meeting May 27, 6:30 p.m.

Release Date: 05/18/2009
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov Ginny Narsete, 312-692-2441, narsete.virginia@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA090

(Chicago, Ill. - May 18, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 is holding a public comment period and meeting to explain its proposed interim cleanup plan for the Eagle Zinc Superfund site in Hillsboro, Ill. The meeting will be Wednesday, May 27, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Hillsboro High School, 522 E. Tremont St. The comment period closes June 18.

EPA proposes a $1.9 million plan to tear down the buildings and other structures at the 132-acre site, a zinc smelter that operated from 1912 to 2003. Contaminated debris from the demolition would then be covered with a foot of soil and managed on-site until the agency proceeds with Phase 3 of cleanup at the site, which will address remaining contamination issues.

EPA's proposed plan is one of three options under consideration. Based on any new information presented in the comments, EPA may modify the proposed plan or select another option. The final cleanup plan will be selected in consultation with Illinois EPA.

The Eagle Zinc site extends from Smith Road on the north to the middle fork of Shoal Creek on the south. It is about 50 miles northeast of St. Louis. In 1984, 18,000 tons of waste material was removed under Illinois EPA supervision. The site was added to the Superfund National Priority List in September 2007.

Lead exposure may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities in children, to seizures and death. Children under age six are most at risk. Primary sources of lead exposure for most children are deteriorating lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust and lead-contaminated residential soil.

Comments on the plan may be made at the May 27 meeting, via the Internet at www.epa.gov/region5/publiccomment, or by fax to EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Ginny Narsete at 312-692-2441. Also contact Narsete for general questions about the Eagle Zinc site and special accommodations at the meeting, 800-621-8431, Ext. 64359, or narsete.virginia@epa.gov. Site documents and other information are posted at http://www.epa.gov/region5/sites/eaglezinc and may also be found at the Hillsboro Public Library, 214 School St.

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