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Federal environmental enforcement highlights in Illinois

Release Date: 11/15/2006
Contact Information: Anne Rowan, (312) 353-9391, rowan.anne@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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CHICAGO (Nov. 15, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today announced that its enforcement actions in Illinois in 2006 have caused regulated entities to pay more than $325.1 million to correct past environmental violations and help prevent future ones.

In the past fiscal year, EPA resolved 119 actions against regulated entities in Illinois and assessed a total of more than $3.5 million in civil penalties for various air, water, hazardous waste, community right-to-know and pesticide violations. As part of settlement agreements, Illinois regulated entities agreed to do 18 supplemental environmental projects worth more than $7.1 million. In addition, EPA initiated another 104 new cases in the state.

"Ensuring compliance with the law is the keystone for protecting public health and the environment," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "We and our partners at Illinois EPA are committed to cleaner air, water and land for the people of Illinois."

Two of the biggest enforcement cases in Illinois involved ADM of Decatur and ExxonMobil's Joliet facility.

  • To resolve a federal case on air violations, ADM agreed pay a $325,000 penalty and spend $1,020,000 to reduce leaks of hazardous air pollutants. Installing 58 pumps and 15 agitators at its vitamin E manufacturing site will cost at least $1,005,000. ADM will spend at least another $15,000 on enhanced leak detection and repairs.
  • To resolve federal and state actions with three states including Illinois, ExxonMobil agreed to spend about $180 million on environmental improvements at its Joliet refinery and another $2.2 million on supplemental environmental projects in Illinois. The company will drastically reduce its emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.

EPA resolved 32 cases through administrative compliance orders, 21 through civil judicial agreements/orders and 66 through final administrative penalty orders. Of the Region's new cases, 79 are administrative penalty complaints and 25 are civil judicial referrals.

Region 5 coordinates with state environmental agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin to enforce environmental laws. State agencies also have the authority to pursue their own enforcement actions. Region-wide, federal enforcement actions this year alone resulted in:
  • 145,358,476 pounds of pollutants reduced
  • 535,385 cubic yards of contaminated soil cleaned up
  • 23 million cubic yards of water and 5,740 linear feet of streams restored
  • 2,368 acres of wetlands protected

For more information about the Region's enforcement program go to www.epa.gov/region5/enforcement/fy06eoy.htm
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