Environmental Protection Agency starts cleanup at former scrapyard in Dixon, Illinois

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency is cleaning up the former Dixon Iron & Metal Co. in downtown Dixon. The former scrapyard, seen here in April 2018, has been leaching contaminants into the nearby Rock River.

Cleanup of an old downtown scrapyard along the Rock River in Dixon, Illinois, began this week, thanks to help from the federal government.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started a $3 million time-critical cleanup and remediation project at the former Dixon Iron & Metal Co., which has been leaching contaminants into the river.

In 2017, the City of Dixon hired Fehr Graham scientists to complete environmental assessment and testing on the site. Those tests found high levels of heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls. 

Fehr Graham, an engineering and environmental firm with 10 offices in the Midwest, helped the City work with the Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA to address the time-critical cleanup needs. Fehr Graham will help the City further clean up the site to Illinois EPA objectives after the U.S. EPA cleanup is complete in October. All the work will help position the site and larger Viaduct Point area for redevelopment. 

“We could not be more grateful for the support of the Illinois EPA and the U.S. EPA,” said Dixon Mayor Liandro Arellano in a news release. “Their teams have both been incredible to work with and the expertise of Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental has been vital to the success of this project. After we make the property safe, we can begin the next steps to bring Viaduct Point to life.”

Over the next two months, workers will excavate contaminated soil and replace with clean soil at the former scrapyard. The federal cleanup is the first step and key to allowing the City to move forward with its plans to develop the surrounding area and add 1.5 miles of bike path. A $2.2 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation will fund that project.

News release
Environmental Protection Agency
City of Dixon

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