Huge thanks to the Moving Pillsbury Forward working group!

Kudos to Chris Richmond and the grassroots “Moving Pillsbury Forward” (MPF) working group! 

MPF is a group of community volunteers focusing on understanding the challenges and issues related to the Pillsbury property.  They are working hard to get everyone together to get the facts out, dispel misinformation, evaluate reasonable options, and work together to move forward.

Visit their website for more information:

We will post a PechaKucha presentation by Chris Richmond soon – check back for that!

Basic information about the Pillsbury site

  • The site is located at 15th and East Phillips Street in Springfield, IL. See it in Google maps…
  • The current owners do not have funds to clean up the site. They have a lien of $2m from the EPA from the partial cleanup that was done.
  • The original owners (Pillsbury / Cargill) can’t be held liable unless the site is designated a superfund site, which it is not. Apparently the City is working with the Attorney General and the EPA to see what could be done along those lines, but that seems an unlikely solution.
  • On 11/26/2019 Mary Frances and Chris Richmond addressed the Springfield City Council on the issue. Corporation Counsel and council members conjectured about the cost to remediate the rest of the asbestos, tear it down and make it ready to reuse for something else. The city estimates over $10m, but nobody really knows. Apparently a large part of the cost is finding somewhere to put the material after the buildings are demolished. The city doesn’t want to take on responsibility for ownership without some idea of how to pay for cleanup.
  • The Moving Pillsbury Forward group mentioned the idea that the material could be spread over the site and capped OR used as fill for highway projects. They have talked to a brownfield project expert, and those options may be more reasonable alternatives than sending the stuff to a landfill. Their plan starts with environmental studies to evaluate how much it would cost to clean up the rest of the hazardous material. They estimate 99% of the bad stuff was removed in 2017.

We applaud Chris Richmond and the MPF group for taking on this issue!