cam-or inc.


The site comprises approximately 15 acres immediately north of Indiana State Route 2 and one-quarter mile from U.S. Highway 421 in the Town of Westville, LaPorte County, Indiana. The site is bordered on the south by a residential neighborhood, on the east by three private residences, on the north by County Road 400 South and agricultural land, and on the west by an abandoned railroad easement and agricultural land. Immediately southwest of the site is a large auto salvage yard. The site, formerly known as Westville Oil Division of Cam-Or, collected, stored, and re-refined waste oil from 1934 until 1987 when it ceased operations. The facility purchased waste oil from a variety of generators, including service stations, industrial facilities, railroad yards, and pipelines. The waste oil was re-refined for use in automotive- and industrial-grade lubricating oil blends. In addition to selling its product in bulk, the company also packaged motor oils at its Westville cannery. Onsite lagoons were constructed around 1959 and used until at least 1978 for waste oil storage/disposal and for gross separation of oil and water fractions. All lagoons were excavated in native sandy soils with no bottom liners to prevent or restrict waste seepage into the underlying soils and groundwater. Analyses of samples collected in 1984 and 1985 indicated the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and lead in lagoon wastes. The lagoon diking systems have a documented history of breaching during heavy precipitation events. In June 1978, state investigators traced an oil spill in Crooked Creek upstream to the site, which was identified as the source of the release. The release caused a fish kill in Crooked Creek, which is used to irrigate agricultural crops and support a trout fishery and spawning area. In August 1980, Cam-Or reported an additional oil release to Crooked Creek. Releases of hazardous substances were further evidenced by contaminated soil adjacent to the site in Forbes Ditch, which drains to Crooked Creek. Crooked Creek is a tributary of the Kankakee River. In July 1986, a Toxic Substance Control Act consent agreement and final order was filed in which Cam-Or agreed to remediate the PCB-contaminated lagoons at the site. An action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to address heavy metals, VOCs, and semivolatile organic compounds was also initiated. However, Cam-Or failed to proceed with any cleanup. Instead, Cam-Or began to liquidate all assets and ceased processing waste oil as of February 1987. In 1987, United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Emergency Removal Program initiated a removal action to mitigate the imminent and substantial threat posed by conditions at the site. In September 1989, the U.S. EPA issued a unilateral order to a number of potentially responsible parties requiring them to undertake, among other things, the following: - characterize, and remove for disposal, any remaining wastes in aboveground tanks followed by cleaning of the tanks; - excavate acidic sludges from onsite lagoons, solidify, backfill, and cover with a cap; - characterize the northwest quadrant of the site, which contained buried sludges and contaminated soils, this area was subsequently capped as part of the removal action; and - install down gradient monitoring wells and conduct four quarters of sampling.

Hazardous Ranking Score

59 / 100

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

Regional Contact

Region 5
Phone: (312) 353-2000

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

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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