When Texaco closed its Lawrenceville, Ill, refinery in the mid-1980s, the city lost 350 jobs, and the local economy took a big hit. Today, the old refinery land is still taking a toll on the town, thanks to 80 years of petrochemical contamination. About 900 acres of land sits behind chain link fence on the south side of town. Most of the buildings are gone, but pipes once used to move oil and byproducts through the complex can still be seen from the perimeter. City leaders envision reusing the former Texaco refinery land for light industrial business, and perhaps converting a portion along the Embarras River to a wildlife refuge. That vision has been helped by a partnership forged with the Chevron Energy company, which acquired Texaco Oil in 2001. With the help of a mediator, environmental engineers, geologists, and the Illinois EPA, Lawrenceville officials have been looking at ways to get the property cleaned up. They concede that portions of the property may have to remain fenced off for years to come, but are hopeful that the next decade will bring big changes to the property. Tuesday, Chevron led public tours of the land, taking groups across the property by van. It is listed as a Superfund site, which means it is among some 1,200 properties the U.S. EPA considers the most contaminated in the country. Still, environmental engineers think cleanup may be easier here than at other Superfund sites. Thats because the soil below the refinery site is clay, which keeps toxic chemicals from leaching deep into the ground. They are also encourage by tests which indicate the absence of what are known as chlorinated compounds. Those compounds are particularly difficult to clean up, and are known to cause cancer. City leaders are encouraged by Chevrons continuous efforts to monitor and assess contamination at the old refinery. They also say the energy giant has pledged to help refurbish an old baseball field that borders the property as a good faith gesture to the people of Lawrenceville. Not everyone is on board with the project. Some neighbors who lived for years in the shadows of the refinery arent confident the work will begin any time soon. "Not in my lifetime," said Rose Marie Cooper, whos father, uncles and brother all worked for Texaco.