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Posted on: June 9, 2022

Soil Testing Reveals No Cause for Concern of Contaminants at Northeast Substation Expansion Site

Ameren Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CARBONDALE – The City of Carbondale has received soil-testing results from Ameren Illinois for property at 1599 North Wall Street. 

The City’s zoning code required Ameren Illinois to obtain a Special Use Permit to expand their Northeast Substation at 1599 North Wall Street. Because of the site’s proximity to the Koppers brownfield site, the City’s Planning Commission and City Council requested additional soil testing be completed at the site and results provided to the City of Carbondale and to the public, and that any part of the site found to be contaminated would require EPA-approved remediation before construction could begin.

 “Of the 32 samples, only four samples had any detectable contaminants. All four of the detected samples are below Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s published remediation objectives for industrial/commercial property… In summary, the samplings confirm there is no environmental or human health concern on the Carbondale Northeast property.” –Ameren Illinois

The full report, along with other documents relevant to this case, can be found on the City’s website.

The City plans to issue permits this week to allow for construction to begin. As with all construction projects in Carbondale, City staff will monitor the site regularly during construction.  

For more information contact the City’s Community Development Department at 618-457-3237.


Background Information:

Ameren Illinois has owned its current substation site at 1599 North Wall Street since 1974 and operated the substation there since 1975. The company recently purchased nine acres to the southeast of the existing substation in order to expand the substation to the east. A Special Use Permit is required to operate an Electrical Public Utility Substation in the General Agriculture District. As the original substation began operation within a year of Carbondale’s zoning code taking effect, it is presumed that the requirement for the Special Use Permit was not yet in place so the SUP was not required for the original substation. Ameren’s current substation and the property in question lie to the south side of the former Koppers Wood-Treating Site, now designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a ‘brownfield’ and owned by Beazer East, Inc. The proposed construction site does not overlap with the designated brownfield; however, Beazer East, Inc. maintains testing wells along the gravel road that gives access to the substation and proposed expansion.

On April 26, 2022, the Carbondale City Council discussed recommendations from the Planning Commission on a case PC 22-08 in regards to Ameren’s Special Use Permit request. In response to concerns expressed by the community over the proximity of the Ameren site to the former Koppers site, and that the proposed construction site has not itself been tested, City Council approved the Special Use Permit, with the following six conditions:

  1. That all dust or mud on the road shall be controlled during the construction project. [“Carbondale NE Sub & Line NPDES Permit”, “Carbondale NE SWPPP with Attachments”]
  2. That there be no disruption to any remaining contaminated soil at the Koppers Plant brownfield site. [“Testing Well Barriers Site Plan North Wall Street Ameren”]
  3. Planning Commission requests the applicant petition for annexation of this property into City Limits as a condition of their approval. (Annexation to happen after construction)
  4. The area has to be tested with an EPA-approved testing company before construction begins and results of said testing must be provided to the City of Carbondale and the public. [“Ameren Illinois – Carbondale NE Substation Phase II Report”]
  5. In the event the results of testing indicate that contamination is present, construction may not begin until remediation measures have been approved by the EPA.
  6. Ameren must submit a plan showing how they will mitigate damage to the existing testing wells near the construction site and on the access road that could be impacted during construction. [“Testing Well Barriers Site Plan North Wall Street Ameren”]


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