About Us

Public Documents

Project Photo Gallery

Public Involvement

Land Use Controls


Contact Us

Related Links


Cleanup at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

As part of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Environmental Quality (EQ) program, personnel stationed at the Marion CERCLA Field Office work on hazardous materials issues that affect federal trust resources on Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (CONWR).   

In 1947 Congress established the Refuge, with a mission to support wildlife, recreation, agriculture, and industry[1].  Prior to modern environmental laws, it was common practice for industrial facilities, including those on the Refuge, to use unlined landfills and dumps to dispose of the waste generated by their operations.  As a result, a number of locations on the Refuge became contaminated. 

In the 1970s, the State of Illinois identified poly-chlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and cadmium contamination during a watershed-wide study at the Refuge[2].  A 1982 USFWS study identified PCB and lead contamination in Area 9.  On the basis of the Area 9 contamination, the Refuge was placed on the NPL on July 22, 1987

In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), more commonly known as "Superfund." CERCLA authorizes USEPA or a state agency to investigate and respond to releases (or threats of releases) of hazardous substances that may endanger public health and the environment.

The US DOI, the Department of the Army, the USEPA, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency are actively involved in the site remediation process.  These agencies entered into a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) in 1991,[3] which defined roles and responsibilities for the CERCLA investigations and remediation.

The CERCLA activities at the Refuge have been divided into seven Operable Units (OU) based on types of contamination. These OUs are in different phases of investigation, cleanup, and long term monitoring and include the following:

   Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) OU

   Metals Areas (MA) OU

   Explosives/Munitions Manufacturing Areas (EMMA) OU

   Miscellaneous Areas (MISCA) OU

   Water Tower Areas (WT) OU

   Lake Monitoring (LM) OU

   Additional and Uncharacterized Sites (AUS) OU 

This web site contains industrial history and information on sampling for and remediation of hazardous materials under CERCLA at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. This site also contains information on how plants, wildlife, and people that use CONWR are benefiting from CERCLA activities.



[1] Act of August 5, 1947, Public Law No. 80-361, 16 USC§§ 666f-666g.

[2] Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, 1977.  Biological Investigation of the Crab Orchard Creek Basin, Summer 1975, by Robert L. Hite and Marvin King.

[3] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency,  and the Department of Interior, and the United STates Department of the Army, 1991.  Federal Facilities Agreement Under CERCLA SEction 120, in the Matter of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.  September 1991. 


Home  |  About Us  |  Public Documents  |  Project Photo Gallery  Public Involvement  |  Land Use Controls  |  Maps  |  Contact Us   Related Links

© 2007 Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

All Rights Reserved.


U.S. Department of Interior  |  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  |  Region 3 Homepage  |  About Us

 Privacy Statement  |   Disclaimer  |  Contact Us  |  Accessibility  |  FOIA  E-Gov   USA.gov | No Fear Act

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

8588 Rt. 148
Marion, IL 62959

Phone:  (618) 997-5491  

Email:  CrabOrchardCleanup@fws.gov


Last Updated:  August 6, 2007