Rockford, Illinois News

City removes old underground storage tank from former church property

ROCKFORD — The City of Rockford removed 6,000-gallon orphan underground storage tank (UST) from the former First Congressional Church property Wednesday.

City officials say the removal of the steel tank ensures it will not further corrode and potentially release leftover product. Officials will also identify any contamination that may have already leaked.

The tank was identified prior to the final demolition of the historic structure that was destroyed by fire last September. It once contained fuel oil to run the church’s boiler system.

“Orphan USTs are tanks that were no longer in service prior to 1974 and have no State regulatory requirements to be removed unless a leak is confirmed,” the City of Rockford posted on Facebook. “In December 2020, the City declared orphan USTs a public nuisance and passed Ordinance 17-8 to ensure their removal.”

Orphan tanks pose a threat to soil and groundwater, and can allow for chemical vapors to migrate through the soil column into overlying structures where occupants may be exposed. They also reduce redevelopment potential and property values due to potential contamination.

More information on Rockford’s Brownfields Revitalization Program is available on the City of Rockford website.

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