Dumping cases result in $2.2M

Keith Loria Nov. 30, 2010, 2:13pm


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Tuesday that her office has secured more than $2.2 million from two lawsuits against companies that allegedly dumped waste at construction debris sites.

The alleged illegal dumping was done on the west side of Campbell Ave., between 151st and 155th Streets and at an adjacent undeveloped public park on the east side of the street, both in Harvey, Ill.

Madigan filed suit against Excavating & Lowboy Services, Inc., and owner Daniel Serritella in 2004 for allegedly using the first site as a waste dump for construction demolition debris. A second suit followed later that year when similar actions were alleged at the park.

Harvey and the Harvey Park District were added as co-defendants, as the park is owned by the Park District and used as a police gun range by the city of Harvey.

In 2007, Madigan filed another suit against 15 construction and excavation companies that, between the period of 2001 and 2003, allegedly dumped over 19,000 truckloads of construction waste at the sites.

In that suit, Madigan alleged the waste included dirt, brick, broken asphalt and concrete, landscape waste and other waste material from construction and demolition projects, all unpermitted.

"Companies that damage the environment and our communities by illegal dumping must be held accountable for their actions and pay to clean up the pollution they have caused," Madigan said.

"The money we have collected and continue to collect will go directly toward cleaning up these sites and remedying this community eyesore."

In an effort to discover if other companies were involved in the alleged dumping, Madigan's office joined forces with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and sent subpoenas to approximately 30 companies, seeking information about any dumping done at the sites.

To date, Madigan's office has recovered $2,153,000 for waste removal and restoration of the sites and an additional $62,500 in civil penalties.

Madigan said the remaining cases related to the illegal dumpsites are pending in Cook County Circuit Court.

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