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In the buildings near the northern side of the Yeoman Creek Landfill, the frequent presence of potentially flammable or confirmed flammable levels of gases poses an urgent public health hazard.  The possibility of fire or explosion justifies immediate action to reduce flammable gas levels in these buildings to less than 10 percent of the LEL and the development of a safety plan to remove building occupants should a hazardous situation exist. Further assessment of the buildings north of the site will be required after the landfill gas collection system is installed.

Chemicals found in basement air samples from buildings north of the site include benzene, cis- 1,2-dichloroethylene, ethyl benzene, styrene, toluene, vinyl chloride, and xylenes. Hydrogen sulfide gas may be associated with landfill gas. Since the levels of these chemicals were not measured, possible health effects resulting from exposure cannot be evaluated.


  1. Immediately take action to reduce the levels of flammable gases in buildings north of the site.

  2. Develop a safety plan for building occupants where flammable gas may reach dangerous levels. Move the occupants of these buildings if flammable gas levels are consistently greater than 10 percent of the LEL and in the presence of a potential ignition source. The occupants should not re-occupy the buildings until air monitoring shows that flammable gas levels in all parts of the building are consistently maintained below 10 percent of the LEL.

  3. Measure the levels of airborne VOCs in the buildings north of the site. IDPH will assist in the interpretation of the results of such sampling.

  4. Confined space entry procedures should be carefully followed by anyone working in below ground confined spaces or open trenches on or adjacent to the site


IDPH has contacted USEPA regarding the urgency of the flammable gas levels in the buildings. USEPA has agreed to implement the mitigation recommendation and is evaluating the evacuation safety plan recommendation.

IDPH is contacting the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding the findings.

If levels are confirmed to exceed 10 percent of the LEL consistently, and if there is a potential ignition source, IDPH will provide educational information to building occupants.

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