Environmental Remediation – Chicago (Pilsen)

Update: Check out the Chicago Tribune video featuring RW Collins crews!


The Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago is one of the most vibrant communities in the City, culturally rich in art and architecture, and occupied by an actively engaged, working class community. Pilsen’s industrial past and present, however, have created problematic environmental and health issues for area residents, as significant portions of the neighborhood are contaminated with lead and other toxic metals.

In 2015, R.W. Collins was contracted to remediate approximately 2,000 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soil in the Pilsen neighborhood. In cooperation with the EPA and environmental consultants, R.W. Collins implemented a plan to provide In Situ treatment of the lead-contaminated soil allowing for local disposal at an EPA approved landfill, and to prepare the site for future development.

Site Preparation tasks associated with the project included: concrete slab demolition and removal, clearing of vegetation and waste from right of ways and former rail track areas installation of fencing and warning signs, dust control, and installation of decontamination and staging areas.

Remediation tasks associated with the project included the In Situ excavation of soils above the EPA Removal Management Level (RML) for residential soil of 400 parts per million (ppm); treatment of the contaminated soil with a lead stabilizing agent; and disposal of approximately 600 tons of the treated soil to a local subtitle D landfill.

Restoration tasks associated with the project included back-fill excavation with 300 tons of aggregate and the installation of non-woven geotextile marker fabric for separation of soil and stone in preparation of the site for future paving.

The Pilsen soil remediation was a 44-day project, completed on time, within budget and without safety incidents. In Situ treatment of the lead-contaminated soil allowed for local disposal resulting in significant cost savings; and R.W. Collins was pleased to have played a role in the ongoing effort to address environmental and health concerns in the Pilsen neighborhood and restore residents’ confidence in the safety of their community.

Project Specifics

  • 44-Day Environmental Remediation Project
  • Site Preparation
  • Soil Excavation
  • In Situ Stabilization (ISS)
  • Off-site Local Disposal
  • Site Restoration
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