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EPA Region 5 Declares H.O.D. Landfill Ready for Recreational Reuse

Jack Dowden, area director of closed sites for Waste Management, Inc., and Antioch's Mayor Taso Maravelas hold the H.O.D. Landfill's Ready for Reuse determination

Jack Dowden, area director of closed sites for Waste Management, Inc., and Antioch's Mayor Taso Maravelas hold the H.O.D. Landfill's Ready for Reuse determination

The H.O.D. Landfill site in Antioch, IL is the first Superfund site in the Midwest to be presented with an Ready for Reuse (RfR) determination. Historically, there has been a reluctance to reuse Superfund sites once they are cleaned up. Many properties presenting low environmental risks are inappropriately stigmatized because they are or were part of Superfund sites. As part of its Land Revitalization Agenda, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the RfR determination as a tool to facilitate reuse of cleaned up sites. A RfR determination lets people know all or a portion of a Superfund site is protective for specified types of uses.

William Muno, the region 5 Superfund Division Director, signed the RfR determination for the H.O.D. Landfill on November 12, 2003. The H.O.D. Landfill site contains a 51-acre municipal and industrial landfill which operated from 1963 to 1984. About 30 acres of the cleaned-up and grass-covered H.O.D. Landfill are being converted to multiple athletic fields adjacent to Antioch Community High School. Methane gas extracted from the landfill is now being used to produce heat and electricity for the school. A wetland along one side of the site will be used for school science projects. Thomas Skinner, the Region 5 Administrator, praised the reuse of the site, stating, "To look at a garbage dump and see soccer and softball fields took tremendous foresight and creativity. The many partners in this project have created something positive from what used to be a big negative for the community." EPA worked with these partners to enable the reuse of the site by revising the risk assessment, and writing an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to remove aspects of the remedy that were unnecessarily impeding the reuse of the property.

The RfR determination is intended to aid the real estate marketplace by making an affirmative statement that a site identified as Aready for reuse@ will remain protective of human health and the environment. An RfR determination can further aid the real estate marketplace by providing easy-to-understand documentation to support EPA's determination that the site conditions are ready for specified appropriate types of uses. RfR determinations will support both public (e.g. ecological, recreational, governmental) and private (e.g. industrial, commercial, residential) reuse. An RfR determination remains in effect as long as all required remedial conditions and use limitations identified in the site's cleanup decision documents and land title documents continue to be met.

For more information on the H.O.D. Landfill, contact Thomas Bloom at bloom.thomas@epa.gov.

 

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