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May 14, 2012


Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today a lawsuit has been filed against a Peoria County minerals operation for alleged water pollution caused by discharges from stockpiled road salt at its facility along the Illinois River at 7023 Cilco Lane, Bartonville.

Carrie Scharf Materials Co. receives salt via barge and conveys it over the Illinois River levee to stockpile at its Bartonville site for future sale. According to Madiganís suit, inspections from 2008 through 2011 by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) revealed salt residue on the conveyer supports and beneath the conveyor, indicating salt spillage directly into the Illinois River.

Scharf Materials also uses a subsurface drainage system that allows contaminated storm water to seep through the ground, some of which is then discharged into the Illinois River, according to the Attorney Generalís lawsuit. Water samples of the discharge taken by the IEPA and the company indicated elevated concentrations of chloride and cyanide. Chloride is a major component of road salt, which also contains an anti-caking additive that includes traces of cyanide used to prevent salt crystals from hardening and making it difficult to spread on roadways. The runoff from uncovered stockpiles is unusually large due to the mild winter and is potentially very toxic to aquatic life.

ďThe conditions at this facility have created a significant threat to the riverís fish and plant life,Ē Madigan said.

Madiganís suit, filed May 9 in Peoria County Circuit Court, seeks the maximum statutory civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, as well as an additional $10,000 for each day the violation continued on three counts of water pollution. Three other counts allege various permit violations that could result in a penalty of up to $10,000 per day.

Assistant Attorney General Christine Zeivel is handling the case for Madiganís Environmental Bureau.


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