After 10 years of cleanup work, the Yeoman Creek landfill, located in the suburban Chicago town of Waukegan, is nearing the end of its conversion into a public park space. The $26 million project comes 20 years after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noticed hazardous chemicals from the landfill leaking into nearby Yeoman Creek. The landfill, which had been the town’s main disposal site since 1958 and closed in 1969, has endured decades-long criticism concerning the site’s lack of precautionary measures with regard to the environment.
The landfill cleanup includes a cover for landfill materials and a system to eliminate methane gas buildup. With the conversion project, which began in February 2002, nearly complete, officials say the public can schedule interviews with the EPA to discuss how the land should be used. Although officials indicate that plans for the 70-acre site are not yet final, an open-space area will be included.