Sometimes it may not look like much is happening beyond the fences of the former refinery site, but steady progress is being made on cleaning up environmental contamination left from decades of use as a refinery. To date, BP has spent well over $100 million on clean-up efforts at the former refinery site in Wood River.
That effort is reaping benefits in preparing the site for redevelopment. Based on the results of investigations conducted by URS, a highly respected environmental engineering firm, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has certified six parcels on the main site plus a substantial portion of the riverfront as needing no further action for cleanup of soils. Four more parcels are under review by IEPA and BP is conducting more fieldwork at the Agency's request on three other parcels. Investigation into the remaining acreage that could be included in future redevelopment is under way.
The acres involved in these efforts represent the vast majority of developable property on the site. While the entire site includes approximately 800 acres, some of that acreage is in active use currently (such as the marketing terminal, riverfront industries, the tank farm, several office buildings, railroad spurs, etc.), and some has been set aside for environmental reasons (such as a wildlife habitat, some wetland areas and long-term storage and disposal areas).
BP uses a system of wells and pumps to contain on site a plume of petroleum products and from the old refinery and removes up to 70,000 gallons of petroleum products per month.