Chicago, Illinois


Planning/Design of Environmental
Environmental Sampling and Reporting
Public Relations
Regulatory Compliance Support
Regulatory Negotiations
Remediation Plans
Remediation Oversight
Asbestos and Lead-Based Paint sampling and abatement

Project Labor Hours


Project Duration

2002 – 2010

Project Team

Patricia Bryan
Kim Rentz

McCormick Place West Expansion

Currently, the largest public project in Illinois, the McCormick Place West Expansion area comprises approximately six city blocks in Chicago, Illinois, bounded by Cermak Avenue to the north, South Martin Luther King Drive to the east, I-55 to the south, and South Indiana Avenue to the west.

The Site consists of 23 separate parcels and includes parking lots, buildings, and vacant lots that were previously occupied by buildings or paved areas. The redevelopment of these properties will provide over 3,000,000 gross square feet for the McCormick Place Convention Center. The new facilities will include an approximately 500,000 square foot ballroom and 200,000 square feet of meeting rooms.

We served as the owner’s environmental engineer responsible for environmental assessment through remediation of the 23 parcels. The scope of work includes assessment, development of remediation plans and specifications, remediation oversight and entering the site in the Illinois SRP and obtaining an NFR letter.

Principal Client Issues

  • MPEA had not acquired all of the parcels on schedule. Access, insurance, and other legal issues significantly impacted the investigation schedule.
  • MPEA obtained a single NFR letter for the entire project site that comprised 23 individual parcels.
  • Previous owners entered one of the 23 parcels into the Illinois EPA LUST program and was incorporated into the Site Remediation Program so that one NFR could be obtained.
  • The design-builder’s demolition and construction schedule was aggressive. We coordinated this aggressive schedule with the Illinois EPA’s review and approval of investigation reports and remediation plans such that no delays were incurred on the project.


  • We met with the Illinois EPA early in the project to bring the agency into the project team.
  • We provided flexible schedules (weekends, non-business hours) to meet client needs with respect to parcel access. We mobilized staff quickly once access was granted.
  • Fast-track investigations and reporting were conducted to meet the aggressive construction schedule.
  • Ongoing meetings and negotiations with the Illinois EPA assist in meeting recommended clean up objectives and in obtaining approvals of remediation plans.
  • Coordination of all stakeholders allowed us to address schedule deviations, and other unknown conditions quickly and efficiently.

Client Benefits

  • The owner’s risk due to environmental issues is reduced.
  • Fast-track investigation provided the most efficient, cost effective means to evaluate the site and establish remediation objectives.