High toxin levels found at Illinois quarry sites

Seventy-four out of 92 quarries permitted to take clean C&D debris were notified of EPA violations.

November 20, 2017
CDR Staff
Concrete and Aggregates Legislation & Regulations Mixed C&D
Several quarries that accept construction and demolition (C&D) debris in Illinois have high levels of toxins, a report by the Arugs Dispatch says. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) results from tests conducted in spring 2016 found arsenic, lead, mercury, atrazine and other heavy metals, pesticides and volatile organic compounds.

IEPA notified 74 quarries permitted to state clean C&D debris out of 92 of violations, the report says. The report says the sites are reclaimed quarries that accept concrete, brick, asphalt and uncontaminated soil.

Environmentalists and officials are using the results to seek a requirement for groundwater monitoring around the sites. The report says rock quarries often sit on top of groundwater supplies, and advocates for the requirement say that any toxic materials in the quarries could affect an aquifer.

IEPA spokeswoman Kim Biggs says in the report that IEPA regulators are meeting with representatives from each impacted site to mitigate the issue. She says in the report that what will happen will vary site by site, but could include more sampling, confirmation testing or soil removal.

IEPA tested deposits from the 92 sites in April and May for 190 heavy metals, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. The samples showed levels exceeding regulation for aluminum, iron, selenium, chromium and manganese. The report says high levels or arsenic were found in six cases and mercury in three. Several cases had one or more of seven semi-volatile organic compounds, all but one a known or suspected carcinogen.
EPA Hazardous waste