Legal action has been taken against the owner of two La Salle County clean construction or demolition debris, also known as CCDD, facilities.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced two lawsuits were filed Thursday in La Salle County Circuit Court against Sheridan-Joliet Land Development, LLC and Sheridan Sand & Gravel Co. related to CCDD fill operations at two Sheridan locations.
The lawsuits say both locations, 2679 N. 4201 Road and 105 S. Wiensland Road, accepted truckloads of debris that contained waste, which is not allowed at the sites.
Madigan is asking the court to require the company take action to evaluate and remediate any contamination, to cease and desist from accepting and disposing of any waste at the two facilities and to impose civil penalties.
The lawsuits are based on a referral from the Illinois EPA last month.
What was found at the sites?
According to Madigan’s lawsuits, inspectors with the EPA conducted compliance evaluations at both operations.
Inspectors found the facility on North 4201st Road had received four truckloads of debris containing wood, metal, plastic and glass mixed with soil and brick fragments. The company failed to certify the truckloads as being uncontaminated, which is required by law. Inspectors also observed the facility did not have any barriers in place to confine storm water and water runoff to the site, and water was emptying freely into a nearby creek.
At the South Wiensland Road facility, which had been inactive since February 2015, inspectors reviewed reports and found the facility had accepted 18 truckloads of debris in 2015 that had also not been certified as being uncontaminated. The debris included wood, metal and dry cell batteries.
“CCDD facilities have a responsibility to surrounding communities to follow state law and ensure they do not accept waste that could contaminate soil or drinking water and groundwater,” Madigan said in a statement. “My lawsuits require that Sheridan take steps immediately to protect the environment and the public’s health.”
Rezin passed legislation in April targeting company
State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, also passed legislation in April out of a Senate committee, which targets Sheridan-Joliet Land Development. The legislation would require on-site groundwater monitoring at CCDD sites in the county.
Rezin publicly thanked Madigan in a statement stating the company had “skirted the rules” and contaminated groundwater despite several warnings.
“The people of Sheridan and the surrounding area are rightfully demanding this company stop their illegal activity and clean up their mess,” Rezin said. “Public health is of the essence."
CCDD fill operations are typically conducted at the locations of former quarries, mines or other excavation sites. Under state law, CCDD fill operations must only collect clean construction or demolition debris, such as uncontaminated concrete without protruding metal bars, bricks, rock, stone, asphalt, or soil generated from construction or demolition activities. State law requires CCDD operations to designate an inspector to ensure that each truckload of debris meets regulations and does not include any other form of waste.
The two facilities were the subject of previous complaints brought by Madigan before the Illinois Pollution Control Board, which were resolved pursuant to an order entered on May 15, 2013.
Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Pamenter is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.