Things will soon be getting back to normal in the vicinity of Anna and South West Streets now that the Ameren remediation project is complete.
Dave Palmer, Manager of Remediation Projects for Ameren says the project to restore the site of a former coke gas plant is all but wrapped up. Ameren began the current project in March of last year, which is the final phase in a voluntary cleanup program administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Palmer says the site located at the intersection of Anna and Sandy Streets needed an extensive remediation that required moving tens of thousands of tons of soil.
“What was done is called in situ soil stabilization where big augers and, or excavator buckets would mix in reagents, including like cement and some other materials, into the soil to bind up chemicals in the soil with the soil so it won’t move anywhere or leech to water, and so it all stays to one spot. And then some other material was excavated and taken to a landfill and then clean soil was backfilled in its place.”
Palmer says the site which runs along the town brook behind the Taco Gringo restaurant had seen some leaching into groundwater in the area however there was no impact to the water supply.
In 2008 and 2009, Ameren completed remediation of the primary location of the gas plant, which made coke gas, a predecessor to natural gas, at the site from the mid-1800s until the early 1930s. That site is now occupied by the Ameren substation at the corner of Anna and South Main Streets.
Palmer says although the site to the south of Anna Street needed extensive cleanup, Taco Gringo is not affected by the work and Ameren has not detected any chemicals in the subsurface in that property.
Palmer says Ameren has some equipment to move out of the site, but otherwise, all of the major work is complete. He says there will continue to be some activity at the site as Ameren is required to monitor for any effects on groundwater in the area.
“We have monitoring wells surrounding the property, there are actually two parcels in that location. But there are wells to the north. There’s a pretty big network as well in there. Upon review of our reporting to the EPA, they may request we do another year of quarterly groundwater monitoring, or more or less, we don’t know that yet. But yes we do monitor post-remediation.”
Palmer says the site will stay covered in gravel for now. Going forward he says Ameren intends to sell the property so they are leaving it as is so it is ready for any development a future owner would plan.