The building has been down for a couple of months, and soil sampling is continuing at the former Downtown Alton Post Office. The soil sampling is being done to find out what contaminants were left behind. Ameren Illinois owns the land that was once used by Alton Gas & Electric, which built its gas plant in 1855.
Coal and tar residue contamination has resulted in the need for remediation. Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch tells The Big Z they are about halfway done with groundwater and soil sampling.
Click here for Bretsch's comments
Ameren did not create the contaminants on site, but is cleaning up the property to keep it from becoming an environmental risk in the future. A previous statement from the utility claims the site presents little or no risk to the public.