Environmental Site Assessment leads to Dixon Iron & Metal cleanup


March 2017 to May 2018


The Dixon Iron & Metal Company (DIMCO) site is on the Rock River, just west of downtown Dixon, Illinois. For years, the site has been used as a junkyard and for metal recycling and salvaging. To assemble properties along the riverfront, the City of Dixon and Lee County Industrial Development Association hired Fehr Graham to complete Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) for pretransaction due diligence. Following the Phase I ESA, Fehr Graham recommended a partnership with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Site Evaluation (OSE) for Phase II ESA drilling and laboratory analysis. Fehr Graham worked with the OSE to provide the City with an initial Phase II ESA report, which saved the City nearly $20,000 in drilling and analytical costs. The initial Phase II ESA findings identified significant metal and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in soil and groundwater.

Fehr Graham coordinated several meetings with the Illinois EPA, U.S. EPA, the City and landowner representatives to discuss the next steps. Fehr Graham completed an aggressive grid sampling investigation to characterize the extent of PCB contamination on the site. We again worked with the OSE to offset investigation costs. Supplemental investigations were conducted under U.S. EPA Brownfields Assessment grant funding. Based on supplemental and grid sampling results, the site was enrolled into the Illinois EPA Site Remediation Program (SRP) in 2018.

Considering the severity of PCB contamination, Fehr Graham helped City officials request state and federal assistance to clean up the site. U.S. EPA is currently conducting a $3.7 million time-critical removal action of hazardous soils and contaminated groundwater. Throughout the federal-led cleanup, Fehr Graham has represented the City and operated as the environmental project manager to help merge U.S. EPA cleanup results with SRP requirements.

Fehr Graham engineers and landscape architects also prepared comprehensive redevelopment plans for the area, which included commercial and recreational redevelopment of the site.

» Completed Phase I ESA.
» Completed Phase II ESAs for soil and groundwater.
» Completed enrollment into the Illinois EPA Site Remediation Program.
» Coordinated with U.S. EPA Time-Critical Removal Action.
» Prepared comprehensive redevelopment plans.