Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
mmerz@atg.state.il.us

March 7 , 2006

MADIGAN: LAWSUIT ALLEGES ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS BY SALVAGE BUSINESS

SPILLED FLUIDS, USED OIL, OLD TIRES AND BATTERIES IMPROPERLY STORED

Chicago − Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a lawsuit has been filed against an Iroquois County business alleging environmental violations resulting from its automotive and scrap metal salvage operations.

Milford Auto Parts, Inc., doing business as Milford Auto and Truck Parts, 902 N. State Route 1, Milford, is charged with land pollution and other violations. Engines, radiators and other components are removed from vehicles before Milford sells them for scrap and they are removed from the site.

Madigan’s suit alleges that in January 2003 an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) inspection at the business found that oil drained from vehicles was being stored in a large tank not labeled as “used oil.” Approximately 1,700 used tires and a pallet of used batteries were observed outside and a green liquid, visible in the snow, had pooled beneath a car crusher.

According to Madigan’s lawsuit, in May 2003, IEPA inspectors returned to find numerous areas of soil stained by spilled oil that had not been cleaned up, removed or analyzed. In addition, oil had leaked from the unlabeled tank, the connection on the level indicator was broken, approximately 650 used tires were outside at the site, six metal drums behind the office building contained residue from open burning, and refuse in plastic bags and plastic bottles and other refuse had spilled from several garbage bags on the ground.

“Just one of these incidents poses a serious environmental problem, but the totality of allegations indicates that this business is not following the law,” Madigan said.

In addition to land pollution violations, Madigan’s suit also alleges waste sampling violations for Milford’s failure to determine whether stained and contaminated soil resulting from the spillage of automotive fluids was a hazardous or special waste. The lawsuit also alleges violations regarding waste tires, used oil management and open burning. Finally, Milford Auto is charged with creating a water pollution hazard by allowing spilled automotive fluids to remain on site for an indefinite period, increasing the risk of contaminated soil in the vicinity of a nearby creek.

Madigan’s suit, filed Monday in Iroquois County Circuit Court, seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation and an additional $10,000 for each day the violations continue.

Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Bonkowski is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Protection Division.

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