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High Levels Of Metals Detected In Groundwater At The Former Beloit Superfund Site

Dr. Sandra Martell
Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
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Dr. Sandra Martell gives update on elevated levels of metal detected near Chemtool site.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is confirming the presence of elevated concentrations of metals in groundwater monitoring wells at the Former Beloit Corporation Superfund site in Rockton.

The elevated level of metals like antimony, cadmium, chromium and nickel were detected in the Beloit Corporation Superfund site’s monitoring well network.

Dr. Sandra Martell with the Winnebago County Health Department says it’s still too soon to determine the cause of the contamination. “At this point in time, they are telling us it is not necessarily an impact of the chemical fire,” said Martell.

Martell added that the elevated level of metals was only detected after the IEPA expanded the sampling effort and may have been present well before the Chemtool fire.

No metals were detected in the municipal water supply for the Village of Rockton, which was last tested over a month ago.

Residents of the Blackhawk neighborhood adjacent to the Chemtool site are advised not to use their private well water for drinking or cooking. Meanwhile, IEPA is testing 12 different private water wells for possible contamination.

It is still unclear how the Rock River, which is not a source of drinking water, will be impacted if at all by the confirmed metals in the groundwater network near the river bank.

Martell also confirmed that there were over 2,000 respondents to the first round of the Winnebago County Health Department’s Health Impact Survey.