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Conserving the Nature of America

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Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Former Indian Oil Refinery near Lawrenceville, Illinois

Facility structures at the Former Indian Refinery near Lawerenceville, Illinois.

Facility structures at the Former Indian Refinery near Lawerenceville, Illinois, prior to the plant being demolished as part of the clean up.

Photo by USFWS

The Former Indian Refinery Site (the Site) consists of approximately 990 acres located south of the City of Lawrenceville in southeastern Illinois. The area is bounded by residential neighborhoods, cropland, bottomland forested wetlands, the Embarras River, and an unnamed tributary of Indian Creek.


The facility at the Site was active as a petroleum refinery from the early 1900's until the mid-1990's. During its operation, the refinery produced various petroleum products. A variety of waste products were also generated and disposed of or released to various areas on- and off-site, including the floodplain of the Embarras River. Petroleum products and hazardous substances, including an acidic sludge, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene, xylene, cadmium, lead and other metals have been detected in surface water, soils, and in groundwater on or adjacent to the site.


The Site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites in 2000 pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, 42 USC 9601 et seq. (CERCLA, also known as Superfund) and is being cleaned up under that authority. Chevron with oversight by The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) is conducting a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) to determine the response actions that are required to address human health and ecological risks at the site.  For the current status of the remedial investigation/feasibility study visit the Illinois EPA's Indian Refinery site.


The natural resource trustees (the Trustees), which are the Illinois EPA, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (Illinois DNR), and the U.S. Department of Interior acting through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are conducting a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) for the Site in cooperation with Chevron. In November 2004, the Trustees and Chevron signed a Funding and Participation Agreement to facilitate a cooperative NRDA for the Site. An NRDA Technical Workgroup, consisting of representatives of Illinois EPA and DNR, the Service, and Chevron, was established to conduct the NRDA. The NRDA will be coordinated with the ongoing remedial investigation/feasibility study, the first time such coordination has been formally conducted in the State of Illinois.


Contaminants released into the environment from the Site can cause injuries to natural resources, including surface water, groundwater, soils, air, and biota. The purpose of the NRDA is to determine the amount and type of natural resource restoration that is required to:


(1) restore injured natural resources and the services they provide to the conditions that they would have been in had the Site contaminant releases not occurred; and       

(2) compensate the public for the natural resource losses that have occurred over the interim period of time as a result of the releases.                        


Natural resource restoration can include actions that rehabilitate, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources and the services they provide.


In conducting the NRDA cooperatively with Chevron, the Trustees will take advantage of the shared expertise and experience between the two groups to determine the amount of natural resource restoration that is required to make the public whole for the natural resource injuries.



Memorandum of Understanding (85KB PDF) Signed by the Illinois EPA, Illinois DNR, and


PreAssessment Screen (929 KB PDF file) Signed by the Illinois EPA, Illinois DNR, and the Service in 2004.


Funding and Participation Agreement (272 KB PDF) Signed by the Illinois EPA, Illinois DNR, the Service, and Chevron in 2004.


Assessment Plan (2.9 MB PDF) Signed by the Illinois EPA, Illinois DNR, and the Service in 2006.


If you have any questions concerning information found in these reports or other comments related to the Sauget Areas Sites NRDA, please contact us via the e-mail addresses or telephone numbers listed below:


Trustee Council Technical Members:

Robin Albarracin, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Tom Heavisides, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 217-524-6832 

Mike Coffey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 309-793-5800 extension 206


Industry Partner Technical Representatives

Robert Conlon, Project Manager, Chevron, 925-842-9974

Mike Amman, Staff Environmental Scientist, Chevron, 510-242-4366


More Information

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Office of the Attorney General

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services, Rock Island Field Office

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 3 NRDA Homepage

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 3 Contaminants Program Homepage


For more information on the Superfund cleanup process at this Site, visit Illinois EPA's website.


For more information on NRDA in general, and to view the NRDA regulations visit the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance Home 



Midwest NRDA Homepage

Midwest Environmental Contaminants Home