This section provides information about historical refining activities, vapor intrusion concerns, interim cleanup of releases of petroleum hydrocarbons, and on-going cleanup activities being performed within the northern portions of the Village of Hartford. Please select the item of interest from the list below.
Apex Oil Company, Inc. currently is managing the on-going cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbons beneath the northern portions of the Village of Hartford. This includes operation of vapor recovery systems, skimming of liquid hydrocarbons from two large production wells, and routine monitoring inside and outside of homes. Apex Oil Company, Inc. also is working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to define additional technologies and a final approach for removing petroleum hydrocarbons from underneath the Village of Hartford. Pilot tests for removal of trapped gasoline were performed in 2014 and 2015 along North Olive Avenue.
A picture of a stainless-steel canister used to collect air samples located outside of the
pilot test area at 309 North Olive Avenue, Hartford, Illinois.
Operation of the vapor extraction system is focused on preventing migration of petroleum vapors into homes when groundwater levels rise. The system also can be optimized for removing additional vapors when groundwater levels are low. In June 2017, Apex Oil Company, Inc. installed and connected six new soil vapor extraction wells. In addition, three existing extractions well were connected to the soil vapor extraction system. The system is currently operated using as many of the 121 extraction wells that are installed in shallow depths beneath the Village of Hartford as possible.
Recovered vapors are treated at the thermal treatment system currently located on the Premcor refinery. The system also has infrastructure to recover and store groundwater removed from the extraction wells. Extracted petroleum vapors are burned at temperatures exceeding 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit before being discharged into the atmosphere.
In-home monitoring currently is performed on a weekly and quarterly basis to verify the vapor recovery system’s continued effectiveness at preventing migration of vapors into homes in the Village of Hartford. More frequent monitoring is performed within select structures when the Mississippi River stage rises rapidly.
Effectiveness monitoring of the vapor extraction system also is performed on a quarterly basis within approximately 150 monitoring locations. Effectiveness monitoring evaluates petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in shallow portions of the subsurface. Data collected as part of quarterly monitoring is used to make adjustments to operations within the individual extraction wells.
As part of current remediation activities, Apex also manually measures fluid levels below the ground at approximately 375 monitoring locations in the northern portions of the Village of Hartford on a quarterly basis, including determination of the depth to groundwater. These quarterly measurements are used to generate water occurrence and groundwater flow maps for the various water bearing zones underneath the northern portions of the Village of Hartford.
Finally, groundwater samples are collected routinely from monitoring locations installed within each of the water bearing zones underneath the northern portions of the Village of Hartford in order to track the concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons in groundwater and to ensure that petroleum hydrocarbons are not migrating towards the Village of Hartford public water supply wells. Groundwater samples are collected from approximately 55 monitoring locations each year. This sampling protocol confirms that petroleum hydrocarbons have not migrated from the northern portion of the Village of Hartford towards the public water supply wells.
A picture of the Apex team collecting samples and taking measurements along
North Olive Avenue in the northern portions of the Village of Hartford.
Four refineries were constructed around the Village of Hartford between 1907 and 1941, including:
Map of the northern portions of the Village of Hartford and surrounding refinery and terminal properties
Refining, storage, and transport of petroleum hydrocarbons continues to be conducted around the Village of Hartford associated with portions of these refineries. In addition, numerous underground and aboveground petroleum pipelines connect the refineries to the bulk storage terminal, loading and unloading facilities located on the Mississippi River, and to other entities. Numerous releases of petroleum hydrocarbons (mostly gasoline and diesel) have been documented within or immediately adjacent to the northern portions of the Village of Hartford.
Picture of the Village of Hartford, Roxanna, and Wood River with Mississippi River in the background
The first reported instance of petroleum hydrocarbon vapors migrating into a structure (also referred to as a completed vapor intrusion pathway) in the Village of Hartford appears to have occurred in May 1966, in the form of an odor complaint from a resident to the Hartford Police and Fire Departments. Over the next several decades, there were more than 360 recorded odor complaints and approximately 26 reports of flames or fires in structures. The following is a summary of the frequency of odor complaints reported to the Hartford Police and Fire Departments that may be associated with intrusion of petroleum related vapors into structures in the northern portions of the Village of Hartford by decade:
Reports of fires reported in structures typically consisted of a small flame present immediately along basement walls. While complete structural losses have not been documented, content losses and/or property damage had been historically associated with a complete vapor intrusion pathway within a few structures within the northern portions of the Village of Hartford.
Pictures of open flames present along basement walls in the northern portion of the Village of Hartford
After intervention by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, a group of refinery owners including Shell, BP, and Premcor installed a soil vapor extraction system in 1992. This resulted in an immediate and significant reduction in odor complaints. In 2004 and 2005, the soil vapor extraction system was expanded and enhanced with new wells and treatment equipment. Additionally, beginning in 2004, a number of in-home mitigation activities also were performed which included:
• Sealing cracks in basement walls and floors
• Installing a barrier to seal exposed soil surfaces within building footprints including crawlspaces (referred to as flowable fill)
• Sealing or fixing sewer drains within structures that could be a pathway for vapor migration
• Sealing openings where utilities enter structures
• Installing ventilation fans, carbon monoxide detectors, and combustible gas monitors in selected structures where a completed pathway was documented
• Installing air purifying systems in selected structures where a completed pathway was documented
• Installing depressurization systems in selected structures where a completed pathway was documented
That same year, routine measurement of petroleum hydrocarbon vapors inside and beneath structures began. Measurements were collected to evaluate the migration of petroleum hydrocarbon vapors into homes. The results of this in-home monitoring program indicated that the vapor intrusion pathway was periodically complete within select structures, typically following a rapid increase in the Mississippi River stage (referred to as a river stage triggered event).
When vapor intrusion is determined to be occurring in a structure, additional assessment is completed, which may include operation or adjustment of the existing in-home mitigation system (where present), sealing of cracks in the floor or walls of the basement, and sealing of utility pipe penetrations and sewer drains, as well as continued monitoring. For structures with continued vapor intrusion that do not have a mitigation system, one may be installed as part of the assessment activities. Selection of the mitigation system is dependent on the building construction type, as well as input from the property owner. Recently, Apex Oil Company, Inc. has installed ventilation fans and low flow air injection systems, which introduce small amounts of air beneath the building foundation, into several structures in the northern portions of the Village of Hartford.
Conceptual diagram of petroleum hydrocarbons present underneath the ground due to releases from an oil refinery (ITRC (Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council). 2014. Petroleum Vapor Intrusion: Fundamentals of Screening, Investigation, and Management. PVI-1. Washington, D.C.: Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council, Petroleum Vapor Intrusion Team. www.itrcweb.org/PetroleumVI-Guidance).
Beginning in 1978, Amoco (currently BP), Shell, and Clark Oil & Refining Corporation, began initial investigation of petroleum hydrocarbon releases underneath the Village of Hartford in cooperation with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. A total of 12 monitoring wells were installed in the northern portions of the Village of Hartford. Petroleum hydrocarbons were measured within three of the wells.
Cleanup in the northern portions of the Village began shortly thereafter in 1978. Cleanup measures have consisted of pumping gasoline and diesel out of small and large diameter wells (referred to as skimming) and recovering petroleum hydrocarbon vapors (referred to as soil vapor extraction). As of 2015 approximately 3.2 million gallons of petroleum hydrocarbons have been recovered, with 1.3 million gallons removed via skimming of liquid and an additional 1.9 million gallons removed as vapor.
Graph showing liquid and vapor petroleum hydrocarbon recovery from beneath the northern portions of the Village of Hartford
In 1978 and 1979, Clark Oil & Refining Corporation installed two large diameter production wells (RW-001 and RW-002) in the northern portions of the Village of Hartford for the purpose of skimming liquid gasoline and diesel. Between 1978 and 1990, skimming was performed within these two production wells, with the exception of a period between 1983 and 1984 when operations were temporarily ceased. Approximately 1,162,000 gallons of liquid petroleum hydrocarbons were recovered from these two wells through 1990. Recovery rates ranged from approximately 1,000 to 29,000 gallons per month.
There are no available records of skimming being performed in the production wells between 1991 and 1993. However, a third production well (RW-003) was installed by Premcor in 1993. From January 1994 through September 2002, Premcor reportedly recovered 82,700 gallons of liquid hydrocarbons from the three production wells. Between late 2002 and 2004 skimming does not appear to have been performed.
Beginning in 2004, a consortium of oil companies referred to as the Hartford Working Group began managing interim cleanup measures in the Village of Hartford and installed three additional production wells (RW-004, RW-004A, and RW-005). Approximately 18,000 gallons of liquid hydrocarbons were recovered via skimming activities between 2004 and 2009. During this time, the Hartford Working Group also conducted several tests to evaluate other technologies to remove liquid hydrocarbons. An additional 12,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel were recovered as part of testing these other technologies.
In March 2009, Apex Oil Company, Inc. took over cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbons from under the Village of Hartford. Approximately 15,000 gallons of liquid hydrocarbons were removed from two recovery wells (RW-002 and RW-004A) between March 2009 and December 2010. In addition, Apex Oil Company, Inc. skimmed hydrocarbons within many smaller diameter monitoring wells beginning in 2009. Approximately 25,000 gallons of liquid hydrocarbons were removed from the small diameter monitoring wells through the end of 2012.
Picture showing the current system for treating recovered vapors from the soil vapor extraction system located on the Premcor refinery
Current Cleanup Activities
Interim Cleanup Measures
VILLAGE OF HARTFORD
COMMUNITY FOCUS GROUP
A community focus group was established by Apex Oil Company, Inc. in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency during the Spring of 2015 to develop a plan for on-going engagement with community members in the Village of Hartford. The community focus group is made up of elected officials, educators, business owners, clergy, interested residents, regulatory agencies, and Apex Oil Company, Inc. representatives. The focus group members meet routinely to discuss issues of concern with respect to cleanup of historical releases of petroleum products including gasoline and diesel that remain beneath the northern portions of the Village of Hartford.
We’ve created this website as a place where residents, business owners, and others interested in the cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbons beneath the northern portions of the Village of Hartford can come for more information. If you have ideas about ways that we can make this website better or if you have additional questions, please let us know. Phone numbers and emails are available by selecting the Contacts List button above. If you would like to be included in our mailing list for quarterly post cards providing a brief summary of the routine and non-routine activities being performed within the Village of Hartford, please select the Sign Up for Our Mailing List button below.
Hartford Petroleum Release Site
CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY