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Kerry Wood Cubs Field Takes First Step Toward Cleanup of Contamination

By Patty Wetli | June 27, 2013 10:21am
 CPS Takes First Step Toward Cleanup of Contaminated Kerry Wood Cubs Field
Kerry Wood Cubs Field cleanup update
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ROSCOE VILLAGE — It's been six months since construction was halted on Kerry Wood Cubs Field after the discovery of contaminated soil. How soon work will resume is now in the hands of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District jointly enrolled the property, located at 3457 N. Rockwell St., in the IEPA's Site Remediation Program on May 24, according to a CPS statement provided to DNAinfo.com Chicago.

Soil samples have been collected and are undergoing analysis, according to a CPS spokesman. The results of that analysis will be submitted to the IEPA as part of a comprehensive site investigation report to be filed at the end of July.

Pending approval of that report by the IEPA, CPS and the Park District will develop a remedial action plan for the site. As soon as the IEPA signs off on the remediation plan, work can begin on cleaning up the site, the spokesman said.

Kerry Wood Cubs Field, located just behind Lane Tech, was announced in October 2012. The planned $5 million, 1,100-seat stadium would be the first on the city's North Side to meet Illinois High School Association standards, making it eligible to host statewide tournaments.

The ball park is being funded through contributions from the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Cubs Charities, Wood Family Foundation, the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Turner Construction.

The baseball field is located directly across Rockwell Street from the new $7 million Clark Park boathouse.

Documents obtained by the Clark Park Advisory Council via the Freedom of Information Act and shared with DNAinfo.com show that during excavation of the boathouse site, crews discovered two underground storage tanks: a 10,000-gallon petroleum tank and a 550-gallon petroleum tank.

Both tanks and the surrounding soil were removed and disposed of per IEPA guidelines, according to the documents. No additional contamination was found.

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.