The 3.5 acre lot at 5th Street and Hill Street in Champaign is a former manufactured gas plant (FMGP) site from 1887 until 1953. Gas was manufactured by heating coal, and then following a process to remove coal tar and other impurities. The coal tar and other production wastes were left on the site until the closing of the plant. According to information provided by Illinois Power (now Ameren IP) in 1990, the lightweight chemical compounds found in coal tar, known as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene), move easily through soils and are associated with various health problems.
Ameren IP has registered this site, and 24 other sites like it, with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency under their Site Remediation Program (SRP). Under this program, Ameren agrees to clean up this site, with a cost estimate between $3 and $15 million dollars.
Local organizations and residents have joined together to create a Campaign that is dedicated to the ensuring the rights of the neighborhood residents, former residents, and the community in all the issues involved in addressing the toxic site and its impact on the neighborhood and community. The 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign is organized by: Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC), and C-U Political Action Project, in collaboration with neighborhood residents. Please get involved in the 5th and Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign today!
To read Ameren’s reports on the 5th and Hill site, click here. (link expired)
If interested in getting involved with this campaign, please email us.