Additional Sites Cleanup

Additional Sites 512x329

Environmental testing of 32 sites near former and current industrial areas within the restricted area of the Refuge has been completed. 


The Additional and Uncharacterized Sites Operable Unit was created to address areas of the refuge that were not yet investigated or fully characterized. The sites are located in the former Illinois Ordnance Plant area.  Major industrial activity occurred in this area, which encompasses approximately 22,000 acres and includes 536 buildings.  Ordnance was manufactured at seven separate load lines during World War II. In the decades that followed, there was a succession of tenants, sometimes engaging in very different activities. Based on a review of historic records and personal interviews regarding types of chemicals used and disposal practices, areas primarily near the industrial areas were identified for initial testing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed a preliminary assessment that recommended a more comprehensive investigation at 32 sites based on elevated levels of hazardous substances.  

Current Status   

In 2015, the Service and a private party completed a remedial investigation for 32 sites. The purpose of the investigation was to characterize the extent of contamination and understand what risks may be posed to human health and the environment. The investigation included sampling of the ground surface as well as sampling of the soil below the ground surface, groundwater, surface water, and sediment. The results revealed elevated levels of heavy metals and other contaminants were present in the soil of some areas and concentrations of solvents, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and/or other chemicals were present in the groundwater. There are no drinking water wells in use on the refuge. 

The Service is hosting an open house on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Visitor Center located at 8588 Route 148 Marion, IL. Service representatives will be on hand to provide information on the Superfund process, investigation results and next steps. 

Next Steps 

feasibility study is being prepare to evaluate cleanup options for each area of concern to protect human health and the environment. The feasibility study is anticipated to be completed in 2019. Once the feasibility study is complete, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will publish a proposed plan summarizing the cleanup options and will seek public comment. The Service estimates the proposed plan will be published in 2020. Opportunities for community involvement can be found in the Community Involvement section. 

The feasibility study and other documents that will be considered or relied upon in the selection of a response action for this site will be part of the Administrative Record. The Administrative Record is available for public review at the Headquarters Office for Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge currently located at 4503 West DeYoung Street, Suite 201, Marion, IL. Please contact us at to schedule an appointment to view the Administrative Record. 

Important Documents

Fact Sheet for Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study October 2018