Sunday, November 22, 2009

Clean-Up To Begin at Manufactured-Gas Plant in Quincy

According to an article from the Chicago Tribune, AmerenCIPS--a central Illinois utility company--will launch a $20 million cleanup of underground contaminants at a defunct gas-manufacturing plant in Quincy.

Manufactured-gas plants were industrial facilities that produced gas from coal, oil and other feedstocks.  The gas was stored, and then piped to the surrounding area, where it was used for lighting, cooking, and heating homes and businesses.  Today, natural gas is used instead of manufactured gas.

People are still concerned about former manufactured-gas plants because of contamination issues.  For example, the Quincy plant's operations ended in 1943.  However, underground contaminants remain, including "coal tar, which contains carcinogens, and could pose a health risk if disturbed."  Workers "will first take precautionary steps, such as putting up a tent with carbon filters to contain dust and vapors.  After that, they will install a new sewer system, remove the contaminants and replace the soil."  The clean-up is expected to take up to two years.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.


  1. Interesting - I cleaned up a number of these sites back in my remediation days. Most were built along waterways in the east and midwest - easy to deliver the coal. The big problem for the community is the odor - they really stink when you start digging. Sulfur, CN, coal tar, PAH's - a real hodge podge if organics - lots of fun.

  2. I have represented many companies with coal tar issues. In short --they never seem to get cleaned up. Watch for property diminution if you are capping as well.