Monitoring contaminated soils in right-of-ways and a major concern of
local governments. The cost of disposing of contaminated soil is
significantly more than dealing with non-contaminated soil.
Furthermore, if contaminated soil is accidently mixed with clean soil,
the entire pile of soil is considered contaminated and thus the cost of
disposing of that soil becomes more expensive.
In the State of Illinois, contaminated areas within right-of-ways are
tracked through Highway Authority Agreements. (HAA) These agreements
are site plans showing the business that caused the contamination and
the location of the area included in the Highway Authority Agreement.
The document provides a lot of information, but the document is not
referenced with other spatial information. Thus there is no obvious
association between the HAA areas and things such as city owned
utilities. Therefore, it might be possible for the city to accidently
dig up soil in an HAA area without realizing it until after the fact.
Public Works requested that the HAA be added to the existing GIS
layers. This way if the City was planning to excavate an area, they
could quickly determine if there was HAA area in the planned area of
excavation. The GIS Office also added the layer to MapOffice Advanced
to provide a quick reference layer. Now, when the City is planning to
excavate an area, they no longer have to hunt for an HAA document. They
can quickly reference MapOffice Advance or the GIS database to
determine of if there is a risk of contaminated soil where they are
planning to dig