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EPA plans to dig up soil around eastern Ill. homes contaminated by old smelter


TILTON, Illinois — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to remove contaminated soil from around 29 eastern Illinois homes near the site of a now-closed zinc smelter.

The EPA considers the 100-acre Hegeler Zinc smelter in Tilton a highly contaminated Superfund site. Tilton is about 30 miles east of Champaign.

According to The News-Gazette in Champaign ( ), the smelter operated until 1954 and left behind huge piles of slag that contain lead, arsenic and zinc.

The EPA says tests conducted since 2005 have found high levels of lead and arsenic in soil from some nearby homes.

The agency plans to dig out and haul away up to 2 feet of soil from around the homes.

Becky Anderson and her husband live nearby. She says the contaminated soil needs to be gone.

Information from: The News-Gazette,

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