CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan obtained a court order Friday to make sure that residents of Marengo with private wells get immediate access to safe drinking water after recent reports of contamination.

Recent tests conducted in Marengo found that elevated levels of cancer-causing agents like vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene were present in area groundwater near the Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corporation. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency alleged that Arnold previously used chlorinated solvents in its production process.

Under the terms of the order, Arnold and 300 West LLC, the property's owner, must provide drinking water to the owners of private water wells located near the facility. The defendants must confirm arrangements with the six property owners to provide bottled water until the defendants get written authorization from the IEPA and Madigan's office that distribution may stop.

"This court order will ensure that the residents with private wells are supplied with safe drinking water by the defendants," Madigan said. "I strongly advise residents to use the bottled water until the all-clear signal is given that the wells are safe to use again."

The court also ordered Arnold and 300 West LLC to conduct water sampling in 17 other drinking water wells located near the facility.

In mid-May, water samples from six private wells near the facility found elevated levels of hazardous chemicals. Madigan's office subsequently filed a two-count complaint against the defendants alleging water pollution and a substantial danger to welfare, public health and the environment.

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