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The purpose of this health consultation is to provide an update of activities at the Ilada Energy Company site. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) completed a Public Health Assessment (PHA) for the Ilada Energy site in August 1995. IDPH evaluated data collected during the site remedial investigation/feasibility study and concluded the site posed no public health hazard at that time [1]. This health consultation evaluates site activities since the completion of the PHA.


The Ilada Energy Company site is a 20-acre abandoned tank farm that formerly had 12 million gallons of tank storage capacity. The site is southeast of East Cape Girardeau in Alexander County, Illinois. It is on the flood plain of the Mississippi River within 1,000 feet of the river.

The federal government originally operated the site in the early 1940s as a bulk fuel oil storage and transfer terminal, but it was dormant from the mid-1950s until 1981. In 1981, the Ilada Energy Company purchased the site and used it for waste oil reclamation. In 1982, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) determined the company was improperly storing, handling, mixing, and disposing of waste oil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Stained soil near storage tanks prompted several sampling events and the installation of groundwater monitoring wells. Besides PCBs, other contamination identified at the site included heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds. The company abandoned the site in 1983 before taking any cleanup action.

The contamination identified at the site resulted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Exiting ATSDR Website placing the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989. A removal action was completed at the site in March 1991, which resulted in the removal of all tanks, tank contents, piping, structures, and grossly contaminated soil.

The only contamination of concern remaining at the site is a localized, subsurface pocket of aviation fuel. This 1-inch thick layer of fuel (about 75 gallons) measures approximately 50 by 75 feet and floats on the groundwater surface [2]. Several years of monitoring data suggest the pocket of fuel is not moving. When the groundwater level fluctuates, the fuel appears to stick to the soil. Illinois EPA and USEPA do not plan to remove this contained area of contamination, but will leave it buried on the site as it has been since the 1950s.

Agricultural fields border the eastern and western site boundaries, the river levee borders the southern boundary, and a graveled road borders the northern boundary. The site is in a rural, sparsely populated area. About 130 people live within a 2-mile radius of the site. The closest homes include three farmhouses, which are about 0.25 miles north of the site. Groundwater was the main source of drinking water for this rural population; however, since May 1999 the homes have been connected to a public water supply.

In August 1999, Illinois EPA held a public hearing for the site. The purpose of the hearing was to solicit comments about preferred options for the final remedy at the Ilada Energy site. The preferred alternative for the Ilada Energy site was "No Further Action." No concerned residents attended the hearing nor were any comments received. Historically, this site has received very little response from the surrounding community.

Following the remediation, the site remained surrounded by a chain-link fence. A site visit in November 1999 by IDPH staff revealed the gate of the fence had been pushed down. The site was covered by brush and small trees. Trash, debris, and off-road vehicle tracks on the site suggest that trespassers come onto the site.

All the homes near the site are now connected to a public water supply. Deed restrictions for groundwater and land use were placed on the site. The current property owner is responsible for maintaining the site according to deed restrictions. The adjacent properties to the site are unavailable for future development because they were acquired in 1997 as part of a federal flood control program. Restrictions are in place prohibiting groundwater development on this land because it is in a flood plain.

The record of decision for the site was signed and the "No Further Action" alternative was agreed upon. Under this alternative, the responsible parties removed the 23 monitoring wells and the old production well from the site in December 1999. No additional action was required at the site because the previous removal action was sufficient to meet USEPA and Illinois EPA cleanup goals. In November 2000, USEPA removed the site from the NPL.


IDPH has determined that no one is currently exposed to site-related contaminants. The site is in a rural area where few children live. Future exposure is unlikely given the remedial activities completed for the site.


IDPH concludes that, under current conditions, the site poses no public health hazard. In the past, the on-site groundwater contamination from the pocket of floating fuel was a concern because of nearby residential wells. All the homes near the site are now connected to a public water supply. Although a floating pocket of fuel remains on the site, monitoring has determined the fuel is not moving. This material is buried and is not accessible to site trespassers. The abandoned water well that was on the site has been properly abandoned in addition to all on-site monitoring wells.


No further actions are recommended at this time.


Lynn M. Stone
Environmental Toxicologist
Illinois Department of Public Health


  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public health assessment for Ilada Energy Company, Alexander County, East Cape Girardeau, Illinois. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1995.

  2. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Proposed plan fact sheet for Ilada Energy Site, East Cape Girardeau, Illinois. 1999.


This Ilada Energy Company Health Consultation was prepared by the Illinois Department of Health under Cooperative Agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the Health Consultation was initiated.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this Health Consultation and concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig

Table of Contents The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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