Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) Success Story - Celotex

The City of Chicago, through its Department of Zoning and Land Use Planning and its Department of Environment, has been a leader in establishing sustainable development standards and initiatives for urban areas. Through its planning document entitled CitySpace: An Open Space Plan for Chicago, published in 1998, the city set a goal of providing at least two acres of open space for every 1,000 residents in each community. The South Lawndale community of Chicago (commonly known as the Little Village neighborhood) currently has only three-fourths of an acre of open space for every 1,000 residents. The 2800 Sacramento Superfund Site (referred to as the "Celotex Site") is located in this predominantly Hispanic community. Consistent with the overall mission of the CitySpace program, in 2011 the City took title to the Celotex Site and in 2012 transferred the property to the Chicago Park District (collectively, the “City Parties”). Together the City Parties intend to develop the property as a public park incorporating certain sustainable development practices and features.

As potential future owners of the Celotex Site, the City Parties expressed concern about Federal liability for the property and approached EPA seeking liability protection as an ER3 participant, which means committing to sustainable reuse. EPA Region 5, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the City Parties signed an Agreement and Covenant Not to Sue / Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) concerning the Celotex Site in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, commonly known as Superfund).

Under the PPA, the City Parties agreed to enhance the remedy and develop the Celotex Site as a public park using certain sustainable development practices in exchange for an agreement by EPA not to sue them regarding the existing contamination at the property. This pilot will provide substantial benefits to the public while enhancing the existing cover remedy at the property.

Learn More: ER3 success stories