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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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May 1, 2013

MADIGAN SUES CAHOKIA AUTO PARTS DEALER FOR STARTING FIRE, ALLEGES WATER & AIR POLLUTION VIOLATIONS

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Kelly Joins Enforcement Effort

Springfield — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a lawsuit against a Cahokia business for air and water pollution violations after a massive fire broke out last month. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly joined Madigan’s office in suing the company.

The lawsuit indicates that the blaze started April 8 at Marty’s Used Car and Truck Parts on Camp Jackson Road as workers, using a cutting torch to dismantle vehicles, ignited a large pile of shredded tire wire. The fire engulfed two nearby sheds containing approximately 200 used tires, requiring the Cahokia Fire Department, six other area departments and the St. Clair County Hazmat team to respond.

“This incident was the result of careless site maintenance,” Madigan said. “This legal action seeks to hold the company accountable for the significant damage to the surrounding area as a result of the fire.”

Filed this week in St. Clair County Circuit Court, the complaint alleges air pollution, water pollution, open dumping, failure to register as a used tire storage facility, improper management of used/waste tires and operation of a solid waste transfer station without an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency permit. Each count seeks the statutory maximum civil penalty of $50,000 and an additional $10,000 for each day the violations continue.

“Attorney General Madigan’s commitment to environmental safety for families in high-poverty areas is a matter of social justice and we are eager to help,” said State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.

Assistant Attorney General Kelly Phelps is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.

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