Ameren-Illinois continues work behind Taco Gringo to remediate the old coke gas plant that once stood on Anna Street.
Chief Remediation Engineer Dave Palmer says that work at the site may be completed by the end of the year: “We completed some work in 2008-09 on the north side of Anna Street. It was the primary location of the former manufactured gas plant from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Once that area was remediated, we then built a new substation there, which is still there and has been since about 2017. Since then, we have been working on the final parcel for that site, which is south of Anna. The remediation is underway, and we are planning to be finished later this year with a full demobilization of equipment and returning the site to green space by January of next year.”
Palmer says people need to continue to be careful when traveling through the area. He says early on in the project they had safety concerns with local traffic: “We did experience some traffic problems. Safety is very important to the company. We have workers walking across the street in the mornings and the afternoons when we get started. Traffic was pretty heavy and pretty fast. In trying to look out for our folks, we installed with the help of the city some speed bumps to help control traffic a bit.”
Ameren’s goal for the site and its surrounding area is to restore it to a condition considered acceptable by the state’s environmental standards by possibly returning it to a green space. Palmer says discussions are starting with the City of Jacksonville possibly for future development of the site: “We haven’t yet had specific discussions about future land use. The city does own property adjacent to this parcel. I’m sure we will make contact with the city once we are ready to do something else with it.”
Palmer says the goal is to stop any chemicals from moving in the soil and to have them removed. The work and funding for the project has been in cooperation with the city and the Illinois EPA.