CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a lawsuit on Friday against a Macoupin County, Ill., swine finishing operation over allegations of water and air pollution violations.
The lawsuit alleges that Fragrant 40 LLC created water and air pollution from years of generating more livestock waste than the facility's aging waste-handling system could accommodate.
According to the lawsuit, the lagoon at the Fragrant 40 facility was allegedly overflowing and discharging liquid into a nearby creek that leads to the Illinois River during two of three Illinois EPA inspections in November 2009. An alleged third discharge resulted from a hose that burst during land application of manure. The IEPA issued a violation notice to the company for the discharges.
Fragrant 40 is a 4,500-head swine operation with manure pits underneath seven permanent finishing buildings, with five of the buildings used in the course of business. Fragrant 40 allegedly had ongoing problems keeping up with the management of its livestock waste system and clean water diversion problems at the facility, which contributed to a buildup of waste causing the system to overflow. Madigan alleges that these problems resulted in water pollution violations along with offensive odor allegations and citizen complaints.
"This operation's failure to have a proper waste system has resulted in air and water pollution that jeopardizes the area's public health," Madigan said.
Madigan alleges a total of six counts of water and air pollution violations as well as violations of Illinois EPA permits. For the air pollution count, Madigan alleges that problems were caused for families living near the facility due to offensive odors. One family member said that odors emanating from the facility forced them to cancel a July 4 celebration at their home last year and, on another occasion, a visiting family member became ill from odors coming into the home.
Madigan's lawsuit seeks a $50,000 penalty for each violation and an additional $10,000 for each day the violations continue for the lagoon overflow discharges, recent discharges from confinement buildings and equipment malfunctions.