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EPA oversees methane gas investigation near Hanover Park landfill

Release Date: 11/20/2007
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov, Mike Joyce, 312-353-5546, (Illinois EPA), Maggie Carson, 217-725-0589

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA229

(Chicago, Ill. - Nov. 20, 2007) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 is overseeing an investigation of potential methane gas releases at homes along the western and southern boundaries of the Mallard Lake Landfill, 26W580 Schick Road, in Hanover Park, Ill. About 20 homes have been screened since Saturday, with more to be screened this week and in early December. A team of local officials, including the Hanover Park Fire Department, property owner Forest District of DuPage County, and landfill operator BFI Waste Systems of North America are performing the investigative work. Illinois EPA is working closely with EPA on oversight of the investigation.

High levels of methane are migrating into nearby neighborhoods, though all data collected thus far shows the combustible gas at depths more than 40 feet underground.

At this time, the investigation is focused on homes along County Farm Road, Lawrence Drive, Schick Road and Whitney Road. The work involves in-home methane screenings in basements, and along foundation slabs and crawl spaces. The investigative teams may ask residents for permission to install gas collection canisters or explosimeters, which monitor gas concentrations in real-time. There is no cost to residents for the methane monitoring.

EPA's involvement at the Mallard Lake Landfill grew out of previous Illinois EPA work on environmental issues at the landfill.

Since 2005, Illinois EPA has been working with the DuPage County Health Department to assess levels of volatile organic compound contamination including vinyl chloride in ground-water affecting private wells in western Wayne Township. Vinyl chloride is created through the mixing of numerous industrial chemicals found in older landfills. During this previous phase of the investigation, about 20 residences in western Wayne Township using private wells were found to have vinyl chloride contamination. These homes are unrelated to the current methane investigation. Most of these have since been connected to the Bartlett and Carol Stream municipal drinking water systems, with additional work ongoing.

Residents with questions about the project may contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Mike Joyce, 312-353-5546.

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