peoples natural gas co.

502 E 11TH ST

The Peoples Natural Gas Co. site is located in Dubuque and covers approximately 5 acres. From 1890 until 1954, the Key City Gas Company owned and operated this gas plant, where a natural gas substitute was produced from coal. In 1954, the North Central Public Service Company took over operations until 1957, when Peoples Natural Gas Company assumed ownership of the site. Peoples used the site as a storage and maintenance area and did not manufacture gas. It later sold a portion of the site to the City of Dubuque, which operated the Dubuque Municipal Garage on the site until 2006. The Iowa Department of Transportation owns the remainder of the site. Two waste products resulting from coal gasification are of primary concern: coal tar sludges and spent iron oxide. Coal tar sludges were produced during the coal or coke combustion and during the oil injection processes, and spent iron oxide wastes were produced during the gas purification process. Spent iron oxide wastes, removed from the three gas cleaning boxes (purifiers), were dumped behind two gas holding tanks on site at least twice a year. Spent iron oxide and other wastes were deposited in the northeastern section of the site. Coal tars were removed from the gas in the wash box and condenser. These wastes either were sold or disposed of in pits or holding tanks. Two coal tar waste storage tanks were used at the gas plant, one aboveground and one below. Both tanks have since been removed. Evidence of materials left in the underground tank, as well as migration of waste out of the tank, is supported by a study done by the Iowa Department of Transportation in 1983, while conducting a right-of-way survey for the proposed extension of U.S. Highway 61. An estimated 60,000 people obtain drinking water from municipal wells located within 3 miles of the site. Approximately 2,400 people live within a mile of the site, and 21,000 people live within 3 miles. The Mississippi River is approximately 500 feet east of the site. Surface water downstream is used for industrial and recreational activities. A wildlife and fish refuge is 2 miles downstream, and wetlands are located within 1/2 mile of the site.

Hazardous Ranking Score

46 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 7
Phone: (913) 551-7003

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

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