Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 - Coverage roundup - Reporters received report before governor - Report finds high levels of mercury in soil - Report released to reporters *** After stonewalling governor’s office, city finally shares pollution report on migrant tent city
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*** UPDATED x4 - Coverage roundup - Reporters received report before governor - Report finds high levels of mercury in soil - Report released to reporters *** After stonewalling governor’s office, city finally shares pollution report on migrant tent city

Friday, Dec 1, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* From WBBM


* From Jordan Abudayyeh at the Governor’s office…

The State has repeatedly requested this report from the city and despite assurances it would be sent, that has yet to occur. When the State does receive the report the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will need to review it. We will not have additional comment until we receive the report.

* Alice Yin


* Abudayyeh at 8:33 tonight…

Update. We just got it: The state just received the environmental report. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will need to review it. We will not have additional comment until the review of the nearly 800 page document is complete.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From Natalie Moore at WBEZ


*** UPDATE 2 *** Click here for the full report…

* Metals were below the residential ROs with the exception of arsenic, lead, mercury, and manganese, which exceeded in residential ingestion exposure route at certain sample locations.

    * Mercury exceeded the residential outdoor inhalation exposure route and the default CSAT limit in sample SB-15 (1-3’) and its associated duplicate sample, DUP-004. These two samples were further evaluated with elemental mercury laboratory analysis, as provided in Table 1, which confirmed the exceedances.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From Rich: The governor’s office has been asking for this report for days, and they sent it to reporters first? Yeah, that’s wise…


*** UPDATE 4 *** Coverage roundup…

    * Tribune

    After weeks of pressure, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration dropped a voluminous environmental assessment of a proposed tent camp for migrants late Friday that said contaminants are being removed from the former Southwest Side industrial site.

    The nearly 800-page report by outside contractor Terracon Consultants was released to the Tribune on Friday evening.

    It said high levels of mercury and other chemicals were found and are being removed from the Brighton Park lot at 3710 S. California Ave., where workers had already begun building the giant tents for incoming migrants this week. […]

    “Terracon conducted a field investigation under a sampling plan that was developed for this specific site,” a Johnson spokesperson wrote in a statement, before noting soil with mercury levels and other contaminants, which were addressed through removal as well as an “engineered barrier” along the site. “With the limited soil removal and placement and maintenance of the barrier, the site is safe for temporary residential use.”

    The report notes that despite the presence of toxic substances at the site, the levels detected are within state guidelines and as a result pose minimal risks to temporary occupants of the tent encampment.

    * WTTW

    Tests were performed in 16 locations on the site, and soil, groundwater and soil gas samples were taken and analyzed, according to the report.

    Mercury was located in one location on the site, and the soil in that area was removed and disposed of, according to the report.

    In another location, the organic compound bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was found, the report said. That compound is used in the manufacturing of polyvinyl chloride, a rigid yet flexible plastic. That soil will also be removed and disposed of, according to the report.

    At multiple locations on the site, the tests found evidence of two semi-volatile organic compounds and four metals that exceeded limits considered safe for residential use, according to the report.

    That prompted city officials to require that the entire site “be covered with imported clean stone from a quarry and compaction of the stone to a minimum thickness of six inches throughout the site. The stone layer will be periodically inspected and maintained,” the report said.

    * ABC Chicago

    Crews are also placing a clean crushed stone barrier around the site that will be regularly inspected.

    The statement goes on to say in part, “With the limited soil removal and placement and maintenance of the barrier, the site is safe for temporary residential use.” […]

    City officials have said they hope to have the site up and running by mid-December.

    Alderwoman Julia Ramirez and her office are reviewing the new findings and plan to comment soon.

    * Sun-Times

    The state, which is committing $65 million for the shelter and is directing the contractor building on the site, will have to sign off on the environmental report.

    “The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will have to review it,” said Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “We will not utilize that site if IEPA does not sign off.”

    She declined to comment further until state officials review the report.

    The city’s consultant said it can’t guarantee there isn’t additional contamination, and if additional materials are discovered, “activities should be halted.”

    “We cannot represent that the site contains no hazardous substances, toxic material, petroleum products or other latent conditions beyond those identified during this evaluation,” the city consultant Terracon said in the report.

       

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