Naval Station Great Lakes

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website

Environmental History

Site Name and Number
(click on Site for additional info)*
Site Description Previous Investigations Current Status*
Site 1

The Golf Course Landfill spans approximately 49 acres and was previously used as a landfill from 1942 to 1967. An estimated 1.5 million tons of materials have been burned and/or disposed of here. Disposal items include general refuse and trash, free liquid oil, coal ash, solvents, and chemicals such as transformer oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). When the landfill was closed, it was covered with ash followed by a thin layer of topsoil.

Initial Assessment Study (IAS); Remedial Investigation(RI)/Risk Assessment (RA); Feasibility Study (FS); Proposed Plan (PP) and Record of Decision (ROD)

Land Use Controls (LUCs) are implemented. Annual long-term groundwater monitoring is being conducted.

Site 2

The Forrestal Landfill was in operation from 1967 to 1969 and was the first controlled disposal landfill used by Naval Station Great Lakes. The landfill covers 4.5 acres, and approximately 76,000 cubic yards of refuse were disposed of here. No hazardous wastes were disposed of in the landfill, and no burning occurred; however, degradation products, alcohols and methane gas from the organic wastes, are potential concern.

IAS; Miscellaneous Investigations; Final Cover Study; Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA); Remedial Design Work Plan

LUCs are implemented. Annual long-term groundwater monitoring is being conducted.

Site 3

Supplyside Landfill covers 15 acres and was in operation from 1969 to 1983. An estimated 1 million cubic yards of refuse were disposed of but not intentionally burned here. Office waste and galley waste were disposed of in the landfill. Chemical waste included chemical cleaners, solvents, oils found on rags, Solvent 144, trichloroethane, contact cement, and cement grout. Most of the office waste consisted of paper, typewriter ribbons, and ink. Clay and 6 inches of vegetated topsoil was used to cover this landfill upon its closure.

IAS; Miscellaneous Investigations; Soil Cover Placement; EE/CA; Remedial Design/Cap Work Plan

LUCs are implemented. Annual long-term groundwater monitoring is being conducted.

Site 4

The Fire Fighter Training Unit covers 10 acres and is located in the middle of the Golf Course Landfill. It was operated from 1942 until 1989. Fuels in open burn pits, concrete carrier compartments and gasoline burning compartments were ignited to simulate fires. Unburned fuels and wastewater were drained from the burn area and treated using separators and decant ponds. Treated wastewater and storm water discharged through a storm sewer into Skokie Creek.


LUCs are implemented. Annual long-term groundwater monitoring is being conducted

Site 5

The Transformer Storage "Boneyard" is located in the northern end of Camp Moffett. This location was the primary storage area for out of service transformers (including PCB-containing transformers) from 1945-1985. In 1985 PCB-containing transformers were moved from the "Boneyard" to a separate storage area. The site is currently used for road maintenance storage.


LUCs are implemented.

Site 6

The Mainside Transformer Storage Area is the former storage area of six PCB-containing transformers (1979 to 1981). The storage area was the dirt covered basement floor of Building 226. During storage, vandals removed the tops of the transformers and dumped the liquid contents of the transformers before stripping the copper from the transformers. It is estimated that approximately 132 gallons of PCB oil was spilled to the ground. No cleanup was made. The building was subsequently demolished to the foundation level.

IAS; Sampling in 1987 and 1988 detected no PCBs in soil. Consequently an easement was granted for road construction over the former Building 226.

No Further Action (NFA).

Site 7

The Recruit Training Center (RTC) Silk-Screening Shop, located in the RTC Training Aids Branch, was in Building 1212. The screening shop made banners and flags for recruit celebrations from 1965 to approximately 2000. Water- and oil-based lacquers and enamels, mineral spirits, acetone, thinners, photographic emulsions, and ink products have been used here. From 1965 to 1985, wastes in this shop were permitted to pass through a drain, penetrate the building wall, and discharge directly into the soil outside the building. The building was demolished in the early 2000s.

IAS; RI/RA; Removal Action; PP; ROD


Site 8

3,000 gallons of leaded gasoline were discharged to the surrounding subsurface when a line leading to the Exchange Service Station's underground storage tanks ruptured. Although the area was remediated, it is suspected that residual contamination remains in the soil because of gasoline odors detected in the nearby Post Office in the years following the spill.


Recommended for Additional Study.

Site 9

Galley-type wastes (such as stainless steel trays and food waste) were uncovered in the Camp Moffett Ravine Fill Area in 1980 when excavation was conducted to repair a collapsed roadway. The fill extends beyond 8 feet below ground surface (bgs), but the total depth is currently unknown. Maps indicate that the area was formerly a narrow V-shaped ravine that served as a tributary to Pettibone Creek. There is no information to suggest that hazardous waste disposal occurred at Site 9.


LUCs are implemented.

Site 10

The NTC Rifle Range is located on a 14.2-acre plot and has been used since 1918. Unfired rounds of old ammunition and other ordnance items were found in the uppermost soil layer throughout the site. It appeared that these items had been buried in the soil and surfaced after erosion had occurred. The site has a high potential for lead contamination.

Request for NFA

This property/site was transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Site 11

Rooms on the third floor of Building 2B and comprise Site 11. These rooms housed 15 gyro compasses from 1942 until 1976. Each compass contained 10 to 15 pounds of elemental mercury. In 1979 a large puddle of mercury was found under the storage locker in room 330C during conversion of the rooms from laboratories to classrooms. Additional mercury was found between floor tiles and the baseboard edging. All of the mercury was cleaned up and disposed.



Site 12

The Harbor Dredge Spoil Area is the disposal location for sediments that were dredged in 1952 and 1970s. The primary sources for the environmental contaminants in the sediments are from non-Navy upstream industrial sources, and non-Navy and Navy storm water discharges within the Pettibone Creek Watershed.


LUCs are implemented.

Site 13

Site 13 comprises seven areas formerly used for demolition debris (13A-G). Sites 13A, 13B, and 13C are located along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. These are areas where fill material (i.e., bricks, concrete, and other building materials) was placed behind and in front of bulkheads and piers constructed to protect bluffs from coastal erosion. Fill was placed at Site 13C (Rifle Range shoreline) to combat severe erosion along the bluff between 1981 and 1984. Site 13D is located along the western and southern sides of Zeigemeier Street (rising from the shoreline) onto the Mainside campus. Disposal at Site 13D ended in 1969 with the development of Building 621. No seepage has been observed from the bluff at Site 13D. Site 13E is a former swimming pool facility that was filled from 1984 to 1985 because the concrete walls were leaking. Site 13F is located along Pettibone Creek’s banks, which have gradually moved approximately 100 feet towards the stream bed, probably related to coal ash disposal. Site 13G is located in the area of the present Auto Hobby Shop. It is believed that only demolition debris was encountered in this area. No leachates are expected to have been generated from the Site 13 disposal areas.



Site 14

The former coal storage areas consist of seven locations across Naval Station Great Lakes where coal was stored during the time period when it was the primary source of fuel for heating and power. Oil has since replaced coal for these purposes. However, the coal piles that once posed an environmental threat from the production of leachates have been removed.



Site 15 Western Burn Area #1

The site is at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Glenview facility. It is a location where debris/trash burning historically occurred. Site Investigation sampling identified minor contamination. Follow-up sampling and a review of historical maps and aerial photographs guided the survey and sampling that identified an old dump used between the 1950s and 1960s. Trenching determined the contents to be Special Waste as determined by Illinois EPA.

See Site 26 for additional details.

Site 16

The site is at the NAS Glenview facility. Indoor Pistol Range was used since 1953 and had unfiltered exhaust. Visual evidence of lead contamination on wall exists. Soil contamination is suspected.

Miscellaneous Investigations; ROD; Removal Action


Site 17

There are two main creek branches that come together to form Pettibone Creek. Starting in North Chicago, the North Branch drains many industrial facilities. The South Branch, which begins in a residential area, flows through the Shore Acres Golf Course Country Club until it meets the North Branch at Naval Station Great Lakes. From there both branches discharge to the Boat Basin (Site 27) which leads to Lake Michigan. Efforts have been made to control erosion because sediments are contaminated with various compounds.

The harbor area receives the runoff from Pettibone Creek (Site 17) and Boat Basin (Site 27). The Inner Harbor and Outer Harbor are sheltered waters that are part of the Naval Station Great Lakes Harbor system. These areas are not Navy property; the waters are under the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois.

Pettibone Creek: RI/RA; FS; Sediment Characterization Report in Support of the FS; PP; ROD.

Boat Basin became Site 27. See Site 27.

Inner Harbor and Outer Harbor: Site Investigation (SI).

Pettibone Creek: NFA.

Inner Harbor and Outer Harbor: Investigation Completed.

Site 18

A former Monazite sand storage area (Site 18) and an area of radium-contaminated soil (Site 20) are located on Supplyside near a family housing complex. Elevated levels of thorium from the Monazite sand and radium from recycled metals were detected in soil. Buried metal scraps with painted radium dials were also found in the soil.

Investigation, Remedial Action


Site 19

Building 910 formerly housed the Recruit Training Center Rifle Range. The small arms range operated for 58 years, until the building was demolished in 2000. Because approximately 19 million pounds of ammunition and 37,500 gallons of CLP brand solvents were used at this site, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals contamination in the soil and groundwater was suspected. A former dry cleaning facility located near Site 19 may also be responsible for contamination to the soil and groundwater.

Site Investigation; RI/RA; FS; PP; ROD

LUCs are implemented.

Site 20 Radium Contaminated Soil

During the 1950s through the 1980s, Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) maintained a yard for recycling metals. The operation consisted of crushing scrap metal and sending it to a recycler. The recycled metals included radium-containing equipment. The site is near a family housing complex.

See Site 18 for additional details.

Site 21

Building 1517 was historically associated with salvage operations at Naval Station Great Lakes. The site was used as a coal stockpile area prior to 1950 and until the 1960s or 1970s. Building 1517 is currently used for equipment storage. Building 1506 houses offices along with a garage and fueling station for base support and government vehicles. PAH concentrations may be linked to asphalt paving or historical storage of coal at the site. Material storage and vehicle maintenance may have contributed to the presence of elevated metals in soil at the site.


LUCs are implemented.

Site 22

Building 105 was built in 1939 and operated as a dry cleaning facility until 1993. It was then converted into a vending machine supply and repair station until it was demolished in 2003. The soil and groundwater have been contaminated with spent tetrachloroethene stored at the onsite laundry facilities until 1987, and in floor drains near the storage area that were linked to a grease catch basin located outside the building.

RI/RA; FS; Electrical Resistance Heating Treatability Study (Interim Remedial Action); PP; ROD

LUCs are implemented.

Site 23

Illinois EPA was notified about a leaking underground storage tank (UST) north of Building 106 between the building and Bronson Avenue. Illinois EPA issued Illinois Emergency Release Incident # 933116.

Removal Action

Request for NFA from Illinois EPA on 12/12/2005.

Site 24

Waste materials found in the Panhandle Fill Area are potentially from base activities.

RI/RA; EE/CA; Action Memorandum; Remedial Design for a Removal Action

A non-time critical removal action began in December 2020.

Site 25

Camp Moffett Fill area encompasses approximately 9 acres. Fill materials are estimated to range from approximately 6 to 10 feet in depth.


A PP documenting the preferred remedial action is being prepared.

Site 26

Site 26 is at the NAS Glenview facility. The site is also listed as Site 15 Western Burn Area #1 for Naval Station Great Lakes and formerly Site 27 for NAS Glenview. The former Western Landfill consists of a 1.5-acre soil-capped area within a 2.2-acre fenced area. The waste areas generally consisted of an average of 8 feet of waste covered by an average of 3 feet of cover soil and 6 inches of topsoil. Wastes were disposed and burned and included household refuse, base refuse, and construction debris. Oils, fuels, and solvents may have also been disposed of at the landfill.

EE/CA; Environmental Site Assessment; Characterization of existing conditions (e.g., potential presence of leachate and soil gas); RI/FS; PP; ROD; Remedial Design for a Removal Action

A removal action is planned for Spring 2022.

Site 27

The Boat Basin (Site 27) receives discharges from Pettibone Creek (Site 17). Sediments are contaminated with various compounds.

The harbor area receives the runoff from Pettibone Creek (Site 17) and Boat Basin (Site 27). The Inner Harbor and Outer Harbor are sheltered waters that are part of the Naval Station Great Lakes Harbor system. These areas are not Navy property; the waters are under the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois.

Boat Basin: SI; RI/RA; FS; PP; ROD

LUC Implementation Plan in development

*Only sites where further investigations are continuing have additional site information

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