CHICAGO, JUNE 17, 2017-- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide $2.5 million through a cooperative agreement to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to resume the cleanup at a Superfund site in Rockford, Ill. U.S. EPA previously provided more than $14 million to reimburse the state for past cleanup costs at the site.
"Illinois EPA will use this funding to continue remediation and treatment work at the Southeast Rockford Groundwater Contamination site," said IEPA Director Alec Messina. "Work has been underway at this site for more than two decades and Illinois EPA remains committed to working with U.S. EPA and the City of Rockford on future remediation efforts."
In the 1980s, U.S. EPA provided bottled water to Southeast Rockford residents after the state's testing showed contamination in private and municipal wells. Improper waste disposal by local industries and leaking underground storage tanks contaminated the wells. In 1989, the location was added to the National Priorities List, a roster of the worst contaminated sites in the country. In 1991, U.S. EPA hooked up 547 homes to Rockford's municipal water system.
"I am determined to prioritize Superfund cleanups which are a core part of our mission," said U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "I am confident that with a renewed sense of urgency, leadership and fresh ideas, the Superfund program can reach its full potential of returning formerly contaminated sites to communities for their beneficial use."
Pruitt recently created a task force to provide recommendations on how U.S. EPA can streamline and improve the Superfund program. This includes: restructuring and expediting the cleanup process; reducing the burden on cooperating parties; incentivizing parties to remediate sites; encouraging private investment in cleanups and sites, and promoting the revitalization of properties across the country.
To learn more about this site, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/southeast-rockford-groundwater.