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The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) requested that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDHP) evaluate information for the Decatur/Barding Spawr Landfill site and provide information about the public health impact of the site. The Decatur/Barding & Spawr Landfill site is an inactive landfill south of U.S. Route 36, west of Decatur, in Macon County, Illinois (northeast quarter of Section 24, Township 16 North, Range 1 East) (Figure 1). The site consists of 66 acres of sloping and irregular topography. The landfill occupies about 33 acres that contains municipal solid wastes and industrial wastes. The landfill is not lined, and the volume and depth of the landfilled wastes are unknown. Standard Waste, a garbage hauling and recycling business, occupies a few acres on the northeastern corner of the site.

Residential, agricultural, recreational, commercial, and industrial properties comprise the area within 4 miles of the site. Within one-quarter mile north and west of the site are approximately 31 homes. South of the site is the Sangamon River and the Sanitary District of Decatur Wyckles Road Sludge Lagoon Facility (Sanitary District). The Macon County Conservation District Rock Springs Center for Environmental Discovery is on the east side of Wyckles Road (Figure 2). Runoff from the site drains south into the Sangamon River and into the Sanitary District land. The ditches that parallel Wyckles Road also drain into the Sangamon River.

The site is partially fenced, but the fence is in poor condition in spots. Vegetation covers portions of the site. Old waste disposal equipment and other scattered debris pose physical hazards on the site. No one works at the landfill, but some employees work at the Standard Waste facility [1].

The site was leased to the Macon County Landfill Corporation from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. The site was used for landfilling industrial and municipal wastes and operated as an open dump and landfill. Liquid industrial waste was allegedly disposed in a pit on the site. A construction firm operated on the site from 1962 to 1980. Since 1980, Standard Waste has conducted operations on part of the site [1].

The regional geology consists of undifferentiated glacial drift units over sedimentary bedrock. Well data from the Illinois State Water Survey suggest that groundwater drawn from these drift units supplies residents within 4 miles of the site. The population using private well water within 1 mile of the site is 820 persons. About 6,525 persons use private well water within 4 miles of the site. However, no known private wells are downgradient of the site [1].

The only surface water that could potentially be affected by runoff from the site is the Sangamon River. The river is next to the site and flows southwesterly. The river is used for recreational purposes. No surface water intakes are within 15 miles downstream of the site. Drinking water for the city of Decatur is drawn from Lake Decatur, an impounded channel of the Sangamon River upstream of the site. Approximately 31,000 people are served by this drinking water source [1].

In 1984, Decatur city officials notified the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) about the presence of drums at the site. IEPA inspected the site and discovered 19 drums. In October 1987, IEPA collected leachate and water samples from the Sanitary District's monitoring wells. The leachate contained benzene, chlorobenzene, and tetrachlorethylene. The monitoring well water contained benzene, chlorobenzene, tetrahydrofuran, and benzothiazolone. The site was added to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Information System (CERCLIS) in April 1988. On January 12, 1989, IEPA performed a preliminary assessment reconnaissance [1].

IEPA conducted a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Screening Site Inspection (SSI) on February 15 and 16, 1993. Eight groundwater, 4 surface soil, and 4 sediment samples were collected and analyzed for organic and inorganic substances. Figure 3 shows each sample location.

IEPA conducted a CERCLA Site Team Evaluation Prioritization (STEP) inspection at the site on November 13 and 14, 1996 [2]. Three off-site drinking water well samples (including 1 duplicate), 3 on-site groundwater samples (including 1 duplicate), 4 surface soil samples (1 off-site), 2 off-site sediment samples from the Sangamon River bank, and 2 off-site soil samples from the river bottomland were collected (Figure 4).

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