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Office of Site Evaluation

The Office of Site Evaluation (OSE) in the Bureau of Land (BOL) conducts site-specific environmental assessments to evaluate potential environmental impacts and the need for remedial and/or removal actions on a property. Environmental investigations can be very resource-intensive; specialized equipment utilized by OSE can reduce the cost and time required to evaluate sites that may pose a threat to human health and the environment.

OSE conducts Superfund Site Assessments under a Superfund Site Assessment Cooperative Agreement with USEPA. Work conducted under this agreement includes preliminary investigations to determine if a property should continue to be evaluated under the Superfund program, as well as more comprehensive investigations that may include sample collection, sample evaluation, and the production of site evaluation reports. A major benchmark of Superfund program is placing sites on the National Priorities List (NPL).

OSE also conducts Targeted Brownfields Assessments under a Brownfields 128(a) Cooperative Agreement with USEPA. Brownfields Assessments include a record review of historic land use and the collection of soil and groundwater samples to determine the level and probable extent of contamination. The data are compiled into a report for the community, after which local governments typically enroll the site into the Illinois EPA Site Remediation Program (SRP) to address contamination present on-site above site-specific remediation objectives. Once the exposure risk to contamination present on site has been minimized to acceptable levels, the property may be issued a No Further Remediation (NFR) Letter from the Illinois EPA. Targeted Brownfield Assessments at Mary’s Restaurant and Pullman Car Manufacturing highlight investigations completed by OSE.

OSE coordinates Time-Critical Removal Actions with USEPA Region 5. Coordination activities include: drafting formal requests for a removal action to USEPA; providing USEPA with an Applicable and Relevant or Appropriate Requirement (ARAR) prior to removal initiation; assisting the USEPA on-scene coordinator with field activities; and collecting site information throughout the removal process. Federal removal actions are authorized whenever there is a release of a hazardous substance that presents an imminent and substantial danger to public health or the environment.

In addition, OSE conducts investigations in coordination with other programs or governmental entities when specialized assessment may be necessary, such as groundwater investigations, buried drum or tank investigations at unregulated facilities, and nonpoint source pollution investigations.

Questions regarding the Illinois EPA OSE may be directed to (217) 524- 3300.