MADIGAN SUES CHICAGO DRY CLEANER FOR FAILING
Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court alleging that a Chicago dry cleaner has been operating without a license and not paying licensing fees for the past 10 years. The license is required by the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act.
“The dry cleaner licensing fee helps protect the citizens of Illinois in the event toxic solvents should leak from these businesses. It ensures that money is readily available to quickly and safely contain chemical spills,” Madigan said.
Lorenzo Turner, doing business as Greenview Community Cleaners, 9352 S. Halsted St., is named in the complaint for violating the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act. The Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Council of Illinois referred the case to Madigan’s office.
The Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act was established in 1997 to regulate the drycleaning industry in Illinois. The fund is comprised of a licensing program, an insurance program and a remedial program. Dry cleaning facilities are required to comply with a licensing program and obtain a license to operate in Illinois. The funds obtained help pay for the cleanup of spills and/or leaks from drycleaning machines and solvent storage units.
The Act mandates that all dry cleaning facilities in Illinois obtain a license to operate. In the suit, Madigan is seeking a court order to prohibit Greenview Community Cleaners, from continuing to do business until it obtains a license. The Attorney General is also seeking a financial penalty, which includes court costs. According to the Act, a $5.00 fee is assessed for each day after the license fee is due until it is paid, and the yearly licensing fee costs between $1,500 and $5,000. The complaint alleges Turner has not paid the fee during the entire 10 years of his business’ existence.
Attorney General Madigan plays a critical role in the enforcement of civil environmental laws. The Attorney General’s primary role in environmental enforcement is handling enforcement actions referred to the office by state agencies. The Attorney General also has power and authority to protect the public health and environment by pursuing enforcement actions that state agencies have not yet identified.
Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer A. Tomas and Andrew Armstrong are handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.