ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT AGAINST METAL FINISHING COMPANY OVER LEAKED CHEMICALS
Court Grants Madigan’s Request for Immediate Relief to Secure Facility and Prevent Additional Spills
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a lawsuit against Krel Laboratories Inc. for improperly storing hazardous materials that leaked and spilled from numerous containers, jeopardizing public health. The court also granted Madigan’s motion to order the company to immediately cease plating operations, secure the facility and hire an environmental consultant to address leaked and spilled chemicals at the facility.
Madigan filed the complaint and motion for immediate and preliminary injunction in Cook County Circuit Court against Krel Laboratories (Krel) at 382, 383 and 388 N. Avers Ave. in Chicago. The facility is located in a residential area adjacent to railway lines for Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority. The agreed immediate injunction order is intended to ensure the site is secure and no chemicals are utilized at the facility until further order of the court.
Krel conducts metal plating and polishing operations in three buildings at the site. Last month, inspectors from the Chicago Department of Public Health conducted an inspection and notified the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) after discovering large quantities of hazardous materials being stored improperly. Upon visiting the site, IEPA’s investigators found nitric acids, potassium, sodium cyanide, and other chemicals being stored in boxes, drums, jars and other containers throughout the facility. Many of the containers were leaking and in poor condition and the contents were not identified on the containers. Some of the containers were being stored in a severely deteriorating building.
“The current condition of chemical storage at the facility is unacceptable and poses a public health risk,” Madigan said. “We acted immediately to prevent additional contamination while the state works with the facility operators on a permanent plan to protect the surrounding community.”
Madigan’s motion asks the court to order Krel to immediately cease operations, secure the site and ensure that hazardous materials are not moved without written approval from the IEPA. The Attorney General’s motion also asks the court to require Krel to hire an environmental consultant to conduct a thorough inventory of all chemicals at the facility and develop a plan to address immediate hazards – including spilled and leaked chemicals – and prevent future contamination.
According to the agreed injunction order, Krel must have the site secured and identify its consultant by Tuesday.
Assistant Attorneys General Elizabeth Dubats and Kathryn Pamenter are handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.