Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
877-844-5461 (TTY)
May 1, 2006



Chicago − Attorney General Lisa Madigan has added charges to an earlier lawsuit filed by her office against the owners of a Hillside landfill, alleging that they have failed to do enough to prevent continued odor problems caused by leaking landfill gas from affecting neighboring businesses and homes near the facility. The additional charges were added Friday.

In addition to producing sickening fumes, the landfill gas contains methane which can create an explosion hazard in nearby businesses and homes if it travels underground beyond the landfill.

Earlier this year, neighbors of the landfill, located at 4100 W. Frontage Road, complained to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) that noxious odors from the facility were making them sick. In addition to private residences, the Hillside Holiday Inn Expo and Conference Center, the Progressive Life Giving World Church and an assisted living center for senior citizens are all within yards of the Hillside landfill. Subsequent inspections by the IEPA concluded that the landfill was emitting gas fumes, resulting in strong odors.

The IEPA referred the case to Madigan’s office in January. Madigan filed suit against Congress Development Company (CDC), alleging that it created a substantial danger to the environment and the public for failing to adequately operate and maintain the landfill’s gas collection system in violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.

In Cook County Circuit Court Friday, Madigan added additional counts against CDC and its owners, alleging air pollution, failure to install and maintain an adequate gas collection system, failure to monitor the gas extraction system, violating emission control standards for municipal solid waste landfills and Clean Air Act permit violations. Madigan’s suit seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation and an additional penalty of $10,000 for each day the violation continues.

“Our latest action makes very, very clear the absolute necessity for owners of this landfill to get the dangers associated with landfill gas and the sickening odor under control sooner than later,” Madigan said.

Madigan’s amended complaint names John Sexton Sand & Gravel Corporation and BFI Waste Systems of North American, Inc., doing business as Congress Development Company (CDC), as owners of the landfill. The suit also names Harry Henderson in his role as Receiver of certain assets of Resource Technology Corporation, the bankrupt entity that formerly handled the collection of methane gas at the landfill.

Assistant Attorneys General Vanessa Vail and Christopher Grant are handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.


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