14 Companies Will Pay for Municipal Water Hook-Ups Following Groundwater Contamination

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has signed an agreement with a group of 14 companies to immediately begin extending municipal water hook-ups to about 800 homes affected by ground water contamination associated with the Ellsworth Industrial Park in Downers Grove, Ill.

The order, called an administrative order on consent, was negotiated over several months. It requires the companies to spend up to $4.275 million to complete the project. Work, expected to begin in the next few weeks, will be administered and supervised by DuPage County. The project should take about a year to complete.

In addition to the order, the 14 companies signed an agreement in principle with EPA, Illinois EPA and the Illinois attorney general's office to outline the process for further site investigations and cleanup in and around Ellsworth Park. The companies also entered into an agreement with DuPage County and the village of Downers Grove on the financial arrangements for the hook-up payments. In addition to the payments provided by the companies, a portion of the infrastructure costs will be paid for with grants obtained by DuPage County and Downers Grove.

The contamination was identified through a series of Illinois EPA sampling projects beginning in May 2001. The contaminants of concern, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, commonly known as TCE and PCE, are degreasing solvents used widely by industry.

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