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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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June 14, 2013

MADIGAN: MARENGO DRINKING WATER WELLS CONTAMINATED, RESIDENTS TO RECEIVE SAFE DRINKING WATER DURING CLEANUP

Court Order Notes Solvent Used by Nearby Manufacturer May Be Source of Contamination

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today obtained a court order to ensure that several Marengo, Ill., residents with private wells have immediate access to safe drinking water. Recent tests indicate that elevated levels of cancer-causing agents, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and vinyl chloride, were present in area groundwater near the Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corporation at 300 N. West Street. According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Arnold previously used chlorinated solvents in its production process at a building located at the northwestern corner of the site.

The order, entered today in McHenry County Circuit Court, requires that Arnold and the property’s owner, 300 West LLC, provide drinking water to the owners of private water wells located at four Ritz Road and two Railroad Street addresses in Marengo. The court specifically ordered the defendants to confirm arrangements with the six property owners to provide bottled water until the defendants receive written authorization from Madigan’s office and the IEPA that they may cease distribution.

Additionally, the court ordered the defendants to conduct water samples from 17 drinking water wells located on Ritz Road and Railroad Street in Marengo. The tests will sample for a number of chemicals, including TCE and vinyl chloride, that may have seeped into the nearby wells.

“This court order will ensure that the residents with private wells are supplied with safe drinking water by the defendants,” Madigan said. “I strongly advise residents to use the bottled water until the all-clear signal is given that the wells are safe to use again.”

Water samples collected in mid-May revealed elevated levels of hazardous chemicals in the six private wells. The levels exceeded groundwater quality regulations in at least two of the drinking water wells. As a result, Madigan’s office filed a two-count complaint against the defendants alleging substantial danger to the environment, public health and welfare, and water pollution.

Assistant Attorney Generals Kathryn Pamenter and Jamie Davidson are handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.

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