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The Illinois Department of Environmental Protections (IEPA) requested that the IllinoisDepartment of Public Health (IDPH) review existing data on the Banner and Western DisposalService (BWDS) site for public health implications. BWDS is an inactive 45-acre landfill on a 60-acre parcel (1) approximately 0.5 miles west of Rockdale in rural Will County, Illinois(Attachment 1). Mound Road is on the northern site border. An unnamed stream is on thewestern site border. A Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad line borders the south, and awetland area borders the east side of the site (Attachment 2). Joliet Sand and Gravel (JSG), agravel mining operation, is north, across Mound Road, and an active landfill is northwest of thesite. Illinois & Michigan (I&M) Canal and wetland areas are south of BWDS.

Three residences are within 0.25 miles of the site, as reported by the Alternative RemedialContracting Strategy (ARCS) V team field in 1995. An estimated 218 people live within 1 mile,and 31,423 people live within 4 miles of the site (U.S. Geological Survey, 1993). The city ofJoliet is within 4 miles of the site. Approximately 1,056 acres of wetland areas, 7 state-designated natural areas, and habitats for 6 state-designated threatened and endangered specieswere identified within 4 miles of the site [Illinois Department of Conservation (IDOC) 1994].

Reportedly, the site began operating as an unpermitted landfill in the 1960s before IllinoisEnvironmental Protection Agency (IEPA) regulations were written. From 1968 until 1971 thesite was operated by Banner Disposal Service of Joliet, and from 1971 to 1973, the site wasoperated by Waste Management of Illinois. In 1973, leachate from the site was suspected to bethe cause of a fish kill in the I&M Canal south of the site. In 1976, three years after operationsceased, the landfill was covered with clay, and IEPA declared it officially closed. The site is partof an estate, whose family members have owned the property since the 1890s.

Little is known about site operations. Municipal and industrial wastes were accepted at the sitefor several years with little or no regulatory agency involvement. Illegal dumping also occurred atthe site during that time. No records exist of waste types or volumes of wastes accepted. Wastewas reportedly buried in trenches on about 75% of the site property. The site is in a gravelmining area that may have been a gravel pit at one time. Coarse-grained soil types predominate inthis area, and no linear or leachate collection system exists on the site.

Geological information about the site area indicates the presence of 3 major water-bearing units. The 3 aquifers, in descending order, are a sand and gravel Quaternary drift deposit (95-100 feetthick), a Silurian dolomite bedrock formation (100-150 feet thick), and the dolomite andsandstone Cambrian-Ordovician system (500-2,000 feet below the ground surface). The first twoaquifers (Quaternary drift and Silurian dolomite) appear to be hydraulically connected. Together,they form the aquifer of particular interest because that is the water used for most private drinkingwater wells (Table 1). Private well water is not subject to routine monitoring as public watersupplies are. Table 2 provides the number of people using municipal and private wells within 4miles of the site.

Table 1.

The Origin of Municipal and Private Wells within 4 miles of the site.
Wells Aquifers Number of
Quaternary drift
5-100 feet thick
Silurian dolomite
100-150 feet thick
500-2,000 feet thick
Municipal water

Joliet- 3
(Total 13 wells)



Rockdale 1 (within
1.5 miles)



Cresthill 3
(Total 5 wells)




Shorewood 2
(Total 4 wells)




Clearview 2



Modern Mobile
Home Park 2
(within 3 miles)




Private wells (the
nearest is 300 feet



Table 2.

People within 4 miles of the site using municipal and private water.
Total 0-¼ mile ¼-½ mile ½-1 mile 1-2 miles 2-3 miles 3-4 miles







The site is in a 100-year floodplain (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1982). Anunnamed stream flows along the western site border and south approximately 0.21 miles before entering the I&M Canal. The flow rate for the unnamed stream is estimated to be 3 cubic feet persecond (ARCS V Contractor 1995). The unnamed stream is not used for fishing or drinkingwater. Both a 1995 Illinois Department of Natural Resources report and 1983 U.S. Departmentof Interior National Wetlands Inventory Maps document that the I&M Canal is an intermittentsurface water body. No habitats for any threatened or endangered species are along the surfacewater pathway (IDOC 1994). The I&M Canal is upstream from state designated natural areas,such as the Channahon State Park, the I&M Canal State Trail, and the Des Plaines ConservationArea.

The site was initially placed on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, andLiability Act Information System (CERCLIS) on January 1, 1984, after the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (USEPA) requested a discovery action. IEPA completed the initialComprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) evaluationand issued a preliminary assessment report on January 1, 1984.

In April 1989, USEPA conducted a screening site investigation and collected 8 surface soil andsediment samples and 4 residential well samples. The sampling results were not available forreview, but the report states that several semivolatile organic compounds and metals weredetected at concentrations more than 3 times the background levels. The report states thatcontamination may be present due to on-site sources. It also states that chloroethane was the onlychemical detected in a downgradient residential well sample at a concentration greater than theupgradient samples, but below the health advisory guideline value. Chloroethane could not beattributed to the Banner site. No additional remedial or other regulatory actions were conductedat that time. On March 29, 1995, USEPA conducted a focused site inspection prioritization(FSIP) visit and collected 8 sediment samples.

On March 20, 1997, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) visited the site. The site isnot fenced, and site access is unrestricted. The site is relatively level with some low areas. Therewere no on-site structures. Mound Road is elevated, and gullies run downward toward the site.Two residences are nearby: one directly across the street from the site at 2849 Mound Road; andthe other approximately 300 feet northwest at 2700 Mound Road. The unnamed stream along thewestern site border appears to be fed by the dewatering process from the JSG gravel operationnorth of the site (Attachment 2). It discharges into the I&M Canal, approximately 0.2 miles southof the site. Several stockpiles of material from JSG are east of the site. The central portion of thesite is level and covered with grass. A large leachate stream flows from the west-central face ofthe landfill. This leachate is orange with an oily sheen and a chemical odor. The leachate pondsin the southwestern site corner. Overflow from the leachate pond flows into the unnamed stream. IDPH staff noted another large leachate pond in the southeast corner. The ponds are not fenced.

A 5-foot diameter storage tank with unknown content had a leaking valve that protruds from thesouthwestern face of the landfill. Wetland areas border the southwestern and western sides of thesite, the southeastern corner of the site, and the northeastern site corner. On the northeasternportion of the site, large quantities of landfill gas bubble up through a 20-feet diameter pond. Aculvert from an approximately 30-acre elevated area contains leachate that is seeping into theunnamed stream. A tree house on the northwest corner of the site and shotgun shells and claypigeons on the ground indicate that people may be using the site as a recreational area.

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