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Loewenthal Metals Corp.

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  • Chicago, IL (Cook County)
  • EPA ID# ILP000510081

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Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (leon.heriberto@epa.gov)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

On-Scene Coordinator
Steven Faryan (faryan.steven@epa.gov)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Loewenthal Metals is a former industrial site at 947 W. Cullerton St. in Chicago, Ill. The half-acre site is in a largely residential area, just west of Interstate 90/94. Historical records indicate that the facility operated as a lead and zinc smelter, as well as a scrap metal dealer, during the 1940s.

The smelter ceased operations in the early 1950s. It appears that the building was razed after a fire at the facility around that time and all of the demolition debris was buried on site and covered with soil. The building demolition debris was used to fill the basement.

In December 2011, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency referred the site to U.s. EPA for a potential cleanup action. EPA began to investigate and was unable to get a response from the current owners regarding access. As a result, the Department of Justice obtained a warrant allowing EPA access to the site to conduct sampling activities beginning the week of Nov. 26, 2012.

Lead, arsenic, copper, mercury, and zinc were found to be at high levels at the site. The City of Chicago erected a temporary fence in December 2012 to prevent public access to the property.

EPA's cleanup removal action went from June to September 2013. There were three community meetings held to provide information to the public—in March 2013, June 2013 and September 2013—in addition to door-to-door visits and other similar activities in the neighborhood.

March 2014

EPA concluded in September 2013 the cleanup at the former Loewenthal Metals site to remove high concentrations of lead in the soil and ensure that the property is safe for residential use in the future. The City of Chicago also conducted its own cleanup of a portion of land that it owns immediately adjacent and east of the Loewenthal site in October 2013 to address high lead levels in that soil. Please refer to the City of Chicago Work Plan and Summary for more information. EPA continues to work with the City of Chicago and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to determine next steps to address contamination adjacent to the Loewenthal Metals site.


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