Settlement Also Requires Bakery to Conduct Emissions Testing
Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced his office has reached a settlement with a Delaware corporation over alleged environmental violations at its Chicago bakery. A Cook County Circuit Court judge entered the consent order that requires Newly Weds Foods, Inc. to pay a $755,000 civil penalty and take steps to prevent future air pollution.
Attorney General Raoul’s office filed a complaint on Aug. 12, 2022, and an amended complaint on Nov. 21, 2022, against Newly Weds Foods. The company operates a bakery in Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood, which is an environmental justice community. Raoul’s lawsuit alleged Newly Weds Foods violated various air provisions of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, as well as its Clean Air Act Permit Program (CAAPP) permit and construction permit.
“I appreciate the cooperation of Newly Weds Foods as the company works to resolve the alleged violations and ensure compliance with environmental laws and permit provisions,” Raoul said. “I will continue to protect all Illinois communities and hold companies accountable when violations of our environmental laws occur.”
Attorney General Raoul’s lawsuit followed an April 2, 2019 fire that destroyed three baking lines at the facility. Raoul’s complaint alleged Newly Weds Foods exceeded permitted emissions and production limits, and failed to conduct emissions testing and submit required reports in a timely manner.
In addition to paying a civil penalty, Newly Weds Foods will conduct emissions testing to demonstrate compliance with permitted emission limits, install a pressure monitoring device at the facility, and submit written documentation to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) following completion of the installation. The consent order also resolves alleged pressure monitoring device violations.
The lawsuit was based on a referral from the IEPA.
“Illinois EPA appreciates the continued work by the Attorney General’s Office to seek remedy and appropriate penalties against companies that violate environmental laws in Illinois, especially those impacting environmental justice areas of concern,” said Director John J. Kim.
“This settlement ensures the company returns to compliance and demonstrates the State’s commitment to address noncompliance.”
The settlement is part of Attorney General Raoul’s work to hold companies accountable for environmental violations in environmental justice communities. Attorney General Raoul’s Environmental Enforcement Division, which enforces civil environmental laws, has recovered millions of dollars from polluters. Raoul encourages residents to report environmental justice and other environmental concerns to his office by emailing email@example.com.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Pamenter handled the case for Raoul’s Environmental Bureau.