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July 27, 2012

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: DISTRIBUTION OF SAFE DRINKING WATER ASSURED IN SAUK VILLAGE UNTIL TEMPORARY FIX IS IN PLACE

Installation of Air Stripping Units Underway to Remove
Vinyl Chloride from Water Supply

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today obtained a court order to ensure that Sauk Village residents will continue to have access to safe drinking water while a temporary fix for the village’s tainted water supply is installed.

The order, entered today by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hyman, requires Sauk Village to continue distributing bottled water to its water customers who request it during daily distribution hours at the Paesel Community Center, adjacent to the Sauk Village Police Department.

“I strongly advise residents to take advantage of this opportunity to get clean, bottled water,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Meanwhile, my office will closely monitor events in Sauk Village to ensure compliance with today’s court order.”

On Monday, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) notified Sauk Village officials that temporary air stripping units to remove vinyl chloride contamination are being installed at the water treatment plant. Today’s court order requires that once installed and tested, the air strippers will remain in use until Sauk Village installs its own temporary units or assumes the costs associated with the continued use of the temporary units on Aug. 21, 2012. The Illinois EPA notified the Village on July 16, 2012, that two wells in its public water supply system were approaching the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for vinyl chloride, which presents a substantial public health threat and endangerment to the environment. In 2009, the village stopped using a third well due to the presence of vinyl chloride above the MCL.

Also today, Madigan’s office filed a Second Amended Complaint against Sauk Village after the IEPA referred the latest problems with the public water supply to her office for enforcement. It alleges that Sauk Village, as the owner and operator of a public water supply, has failed to provide safe water to its residents due to the ongoing vinyl chloride contamination in its water supply. The case is set for a status hearing with the court on Aug. 9, 2012.

Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Pamenter is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.

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