For Immediate Release
MADIGAN: ASBESTOS VIOLATIONS ALLEGED AT COLLINSVILLE PROJECT
Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that her office has filed a complaint with the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) alleging that the owner of a downtown Collinsville building may have allowed dangerous asbestos fibers to be released into the air during renovation.
In March 2005, Chippewa Loft, LLC, began renovating its building at 113 East Clay Street, which formerly housed the Collinsville Herald newspaper. Approximately 3,700 square feet of asbestos-containing floor tiles were removed. However, Chippewa failed to file the required 10-day written notification with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) prior to beginning work.
Soon after renovation began, an IEPA inspection revealed a substantial amount of debris within and on the ground around two open dumpsters at the rear of the building. The inspection showed that machines had been used to chip and crush the debris which allegedly had not been wetted. An IEPA analysis of five samples revealed asbestos in the range of six to 12 percent.
Asbestos is regulated as a hazardous air pollutant because it is a carcinogen. Regulated asbestos containing material (RACM) contains more than one percent asbestos and is generally friable, or, when dry, can be crumbled and reduced to powder. National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) require that RACM must be adequately wetted during removal and collected in leak-tight wrapping for disposal.
Madigan’s complaint alleges that Chippewa violated these regulations as well as air pollution laws. Madigan’s complaint also alleges that Chippewa failed to pay the required NESHAP fee prior to beginning renovation.
Madigan’s complaint, filed January 22 with the IPCB, seeks an order prohibiting Chippewa from further violations of the law, a civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation and an additional penalty of $10,000 for each day the violations continued.Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Bonkowski is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.