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HEALTH CONSULTATION

SWIFT AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS FAIRMONT CITY PLANT
FAIRMONT CITY, ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) requested that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) review information gathered for the Swift Agricultural Chemicals Corporation site for any public health implications. The Swift Agricultural Chemicals Corporation site is on 10 acres at 2501 North Kingshighway in Fairmont City, Illinois (population 2,139). Rose Creek and railroad tracks border the site to south. A residential area is next to the railroad tracks. The Old American Zinc site (CERCLIS # IL0000034355) borders the west and north sides of Swift Agricultural Chemicals Corporation. XTRA Intermodal, a tracking company, currently occupies the Old American Zinc site. North Kingshighway borders the east side of Swift Agricultural Chemicals Corporation. Allied Chemical Corporation East St. Louis Works chemical manufacturing plant is across North Kingshighway, east of the site. A chain-link fence surrounds the site.

The Swift Agricultural Chemical site has been occupied since 1931. The original owner of the site was Virginia Carolina Chemical Company. Additional owners of the site and the dates of ownership include Mobile Chemical (1967-1971), Swift and Company (1971-1983), Beatrice (1983-1986) and Vigoro Industry (1986 - present). During Swift and Company ownership of the site, the facility had several different names including Swift Agricultural Chemicals Corporation, Esmarch, and Estech General Chemicals Corporation. The facility opened as a fertilizer production facility in 1931 and operated continuously until 1990. Vigoro Industries leased the property to an individual who remanufactures wood pallets. Pesticides were added with the fertilizer product beginning in 1971. A record of which pesticides were added to the fertilizer was not found in the information reviewed. Raw materials used at the plant included potash, anhydrous ammonia, sulfuric acid, and phosphoric acid.

IEPA received the first complaint regarding the site from the Coast Guard in 1973. The Coast Guard had received a complaint that a white milky substance was being released into Rose Creek. An investigation revealed that an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of sulfuric acid was released during a spill. On March 7, 1975, an IEPA representative observed a green tint in a drainage ditch north of the site. The green tint was a dye used to color the fertilizer that had apparently run off the site.

Ecology and Environment (E & E) conducted a screening site inspection (SSI) on August 2, 1989, for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Activities conducted as part of the SSI were an interview with site representatives, a reconnaissance inspection of the site, and the collection of 5 soil and 7 sediment samples. The locations of the samples are shown in Figure 2.

IEPA conducted a site team evaluation prioritization (STEP) of the Swift Agricultural Chemicals Corporation in 1996. USEPA requested the STEP. The site visit and sampling were conducted on June 3 and 4, 1996. Four soil samples and two groundwater samples were collected during the STEP. The location of the soil and groundwater samples are shown in Figure 3.

Additional investigations near Swift Agricultural Chemicals Corporation have been conducted in and around the Old American Zinc site. Those investigations have included the CERCLA Integrated Assessment and an IEPA/IDPH meeting and site visit on October 18, 1995. IDPH completed a health consultation for Old American Zinc on February 14, 1996. The conclusions of the Old American Zinc health consultation are presented in Attachment 1.

A summary of all the soil, sediment, and groundwater samples collected at the site is found in Table 1. Eight volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in the soil and sediment samples. Two VOCs were identified in the groundwater samples. Many semivolatile organic compounds were detected in the soil, sediment, and groundwater. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were frequently detected in the samples. Several inorganic compounds were detected in soils at levels greater than background. The elevated inorganic concentrations are probably due to the proximity of the Old American Zinc site.


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