No Walk in the Park for EPA In Chicago

EPA cites the Chicago Park District for violating federal rules on PCBs.

Parks are usually associated with grass and green trees, flowers, the laughter of children, and a healthy lifestyle. In Illinois, that's not always the case apparently.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 filed a complaint against the Chicago Park District for violating federal rules on PCBs. A $33,550 penalty has been proposed.

In 1998, a transformer was knocked over in the maintenance yard of the Garfield Park Conservatory. The incident released PCBs, and the U.S. EPA worked with the Illinois EPA and the Chicago Park District to clean up that spill.

The complaint cites the park district for failing to maintain proper records and regularly inspect and properly store PCB transformers. The park district has since completed an inventory of all transformers in its parks network.

PCBs are a group of toxic chemicals, once used widely in industry as coolants and lubricants. EPA banned the manufacture of PCB's in 1979 because of evidence that they accumulate in the environment and present health hazards for people.

EPA regulates the proper cleanup, disposal, marking, record keeping, storage and limited use of PCBs to protect the public from these potentially dangerous chemicals.

edited by Sandy Smith

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