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U.S. EPA begins cleanup of Nelson Knitting site in Rockford, Illinois

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CHICAGO (January 30, 2023) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began cleanup of a former sock-knitting mill at 909 S. Main St., Rockford, Illinois. EPA anticipates the cleanup of asbestos-contaminated debris and other hazardous waste will be completed by mid-March.

The Nelson Knitting site was referred to EPA for cleanup by Illinois EPA in July 2020, due to the presence of asbestos. Access restrictions limited EPA’s ability to start the cleanup until now. The city of Rockford condemned the building; however, trespassers have continued to enter. The city and EPA have found evidence of scrapped building materials and asbestos debris on the floor. People entering the building are exposed to this material and risk transporting asbestos fibers off-site on their clothes and shoes.

 During the cleanup, EPA will remove asbestos-containing material at the property. The cleanup also involves:

  • Transport and disposal of the asbestos-contaminated waste at an approved facility.
  • Following a safety plan, including air monitoring and dust control, to protect the health of workers and the public.
  • Removal of hazardous materials found within the building, including PCB-containing light fixtures, lead-acid batteries, miscellaneous chemicals, mercury switches, and fluorescent light tubes.

Cleanup is anticipated to occur only inside the building. After EPA’s cleanup is complete, the Winnebago County Trust will pursue demolition and potential redevelopment.

To learn more, please visit EPA’s website.

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Author: Region 05

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