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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope someone can help...Being new to the site, I just learned about the Thorium clean-up on the Dupe in West Chicago. The question I have is...Is the river and banks at McDowell Grove forest preserve considered to be safe....is the preserve open, or is it closed due to the potential contamination...

I work very close to the preserve, and was thinking about fishing there, but NOT if there are any contamination problems...Any help or info would be appreciated.
 

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The thorium cleanup will eventually reach down to the McDowell dam. Samples from the river bed show contamination down to the dam. The annual river trash cleanup does not include the river above the dam because of contamination concerns.
 

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That McDowell has been absolutely contaminated isn’t really news to some of us sadly. I grew up across the street from McDowell and played and fished in there as a kid. Back in 1984 there were still river otters living and playing in the lagoon there and it was pretty good fishing too. By the early 90’s it was a cesspool of garbage and discarded tires, plus if anyone has ever encountered a crumbled cement foundation back in the woods that used to be a top secret radar base back in WWII that was used to train people on tracking planes flying in and out of Orchard Airfield, AKA O’Hare International. My mom wrote a column about that in the Daily Herald a long time ago when she still worked for them.

There’s been several floods in my lifetime alone that have been high enough to wash out bridges and such, and given McDowell’s proximity to the Giant Chemical Companies across Diehl Rd I don’t find it suprising that there’s some sort of horrible contamination in there. Damned shame too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to all for the info...sounds like fishing farther downstream would be a better idea....wonder how they plan on getting that stuff out of the river bed..
 

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Where is everybody getting their info on the clean up? I can't find anything current, and next to nothing since 2004 concerning status of the clean up. This really bums me out because that area has really improved over the last 10 years or so.

:(
 

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Like I said, does anyone have any current information on the status of the clean up? I remember when it was a headline in the Herald a few years ago but the EPA and local authorities have been mute on the subject lately.
Cluricaun, Thanks for the links. One of them from March 07 said the whole thing was supposed to wrap up at the dam in 09. I'm going to try to find out if the last announced schedule of the clean up is still accurate.
 

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I suspect that finding anything with a date of 2008 might be difficult because most of the cleanup efforts are done during good weather, so 2007 is quite possibly the last time the sites were worked. Those links were the best I could find, I'd be very interested if you can find newer stuff too.
 

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Living by the Dupage river and watching them crawl along every day as I go to work, They have a long way to go, I would say this year they will get past RT56. It will be 2010 easily before there done at there current pace.
The bridge at Mcdowell has been recently surveyed & staked up though?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just Wondering...why doesn't Du Page county temporarily close those preserves (or atleast post some warning signs)if there is radioactive contamination in/around the river...I would think that would pose a health risk for people fishing or canoeing in that area ??
 

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LS - The more I think about this and the more I read about it, I'm starting to believe the problem is just not as serious as initially proclaimed.
Since the source of the pollution ceased in the 70's what pollution there was is now deeply buried in the silted river. Or, during the 1996 100 year rain (remember what that did to the West Branch?), the river carried the whole mess way waaaay downstream and it's basically everywhere.
Money allocated for the clean up will be spent anyhow, because that's what government agencies do, spend money (the cynic in me speaking).
I will continue to frequent McDowell till they lock me out.
JMO :roll:
 
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