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Two Homewood parks to reopen

Updated: October 15, 2013 7:21AM



Apollo Park and the Rover’s Run dog park in Homewood are set to reopen Friday evening following the cleanup of a chemical spill at the nearby Army Reserve Center.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Sept. 4 discovered canisters of dimethylhydrazine below ground while building an addition to the center, 18960 Halsted St., which was a Nike anti-aircraft missile base during the 1950s and ‘60s.

Dimethylhydrazine is a chemical that was used in the fuel for the missiles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says inhaling the chemical can irritate the throat, nasal passages, skin and eyes and cause nausea and vomiting. Long-term exposure can cause liver damage, the EPA says.

The soil surrounding the canisters was sampled, and the canisters and soil were removed from the site, according to the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, which in a news release did not indicate how much soil or how many canisters were removed.

It said air monitoring during the canister removal and soil sampling indicated no trace of rocket fuel or any other chemicals at the property.

The Army is investigating the incident, including whether more canisters are buried on the property, according to the park district.

The Illinois EPA and public health department as well as the Army said there is no further risk to the public at the two parks while the Army’s investigation continues.

Casey Toner



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