The former Nike SL-10 Launch Area is located approximately 3 miles north of the town of Marine in Madison County, Illinois. The Launch Area is 19.87 acres in size, and includes the missile assembly and test building, a generator building, warheading building, ready building, acid fueling station; well and pump house, three missile magazines (referred to in other reports as silos), other support buildings, and a sand filter that was previously part of the septic system.
The Nike SL-10 site was one of several missile installations that, in the mid-1950s and 1960s,
formed a line of defense against aerial attack for the City of St. Louis. Nike installations usually
consisted of two separate sites, the Control Area, where the radar and missile control centers
were located, and the Launch Area (the focus of this project), where the assembly, maintenance,
testing, and operation of the missiles took place. Contamination at the missile assembly and test
building appears to have arisen mainly from maintenance operations, especially from the practice
of disposing of degreasing solvents (Plexus 2004).
The Nike SL-10 site was acquired between 1959 and 1962 for the Department of Defense, Nike
Hercules surface-to-air missile program. The property contained a total of 144.78 acres of land,
consisting of 38.67 acres used for housing, launch, and well site; 106.07 acres for line of sight
and safety; 0.11 acres for the well site; and 0.04 acres for water and sewer easements (Plexus
Nike SL-10 operated between 1960 and 1968. The site was deactivated on August 16, 1968.
The General Services Administration (GSA) declared the property surplus on January 21, 1970.
The Launch Area was conveyed to the Madison County Board of Supervisors on June 11, 1971.
In February 1996, the on-site residential well at the former ready building was permanently
closed (Plexus 2004).