Environmental Cleanup

Silvery Checkerspot 512x219

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis). Once sites are cleaned up, habitats are restored for wildlife.


The Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is located in southern Illinois, between the cities of Marion and Carbondale.  As a result of various industrial activities that took place over a period of over 70 years, parts of the refuge became contaminated with hazardous substances that could pose a risk to human health and the environment. The Federal government and private parties continue to conduct extensive environmental investigations and cleanups with oversight and support from federal and state regulatory agencies.   

The primary focus of current cleanup activities includes more than 30 groundwater plumes.  The contaminated groundwater is localized around the former or current industrial areas and contained on the refuge.  There are no groundwater drinking wells on the refuge.  The remediation and restoration of contaminated parcels on the refuge have resulted in enhanced fish and wildlife habitats, improved water quality in Crab Orchard Lake, and improved recreational opportunities.  

Community Involvement  

Community Involvement is a very important part of the cleanup process.  It is an opportunity for you to become involved in the activities to help shape decisions.  To stay informed you can:  

  • Go to the Community Involvement section, and learn how you can participate in the process.
  • Check back for updates to the webpage.        

Coming Soon 

Public input will be requested on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed cleanup actions for the Additional and Uncharacterized Sites Operable Unit (Additional Sites Cleanup).  Your thoughts and opinions will help us pick the best cleanup option.