At the Park District of Oak Park board meeting Sept. 22, a small but significant and definitely final step was taken in the longstanding Barrie Park clean-up saga: a “No Further Remediation” letter was voted on and passed by the commissioners. It represented the park district’s official declaration that the park is clean, and no more environmental remediation is needed.
The No Further Remediation letter, which was sent to the Illinois EPA and to ComEd, signifies ComEd’s release from further responsibilities for Barrie Park as the park no longer constitutes a “threat to human health and the environment.” The completion of the remediation project had been delayed by loose ends that still had to be completed at the park, the filing of environmental documents, and last-minute haggling with ComEd and Nicor. But with environmental remediation finally finished, park board members were relieved and happy.
“It really is a momentous occasion,” said Board President David Kindler. The legal and environmental battles that the Barrie Park remediation project underwent for seven years were carefully documented within the No Further Remediation Letter and its supporting documents. “Our goal was to make it a true record of what actually happened,” said Kindler. Gary Balling, executive director of the park district, was also pleased to see the end of Barrie Park remediation, announcing, “The goals of the remedial objectives agreement have been accomplished: to ensure the park is clean and safe for future generations.”
Closure comes following the official opening of Barrie Park Sept. 10.