CHICAGO -- A Federal court here has recently approved a settlement -- valued at more than $6 million -- between the U.S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA), Department of Justice, and Sherwin Williams Co.
Under the settlement, the paint manufacturer will pay nearly $5 million in civil penalties, spend millions cleaning up contamination at its southeast Chicago plant, and complete two supplemental environmental projects in southeast Chicago that have been approved by the court.
The first project is a $950,000 cleanup of contamination at the Victory Heights-Maple Park site -- a group of old, abandoned industrial facilities about 1 mile from the Sherwin Williams plant. The second project is a $150,000 restoration of wetlands near Indian Creek and Lake Calumet.
The Pullman Civic Organization, a group representing the Pullman neighborhood, objected to the settlement, arguing that a contaminated area within the neighborhood -- the former Liquid Dynamics site -- should have been included as an extra environmental cleanup project instead of the two projects selected by Sherwin Williams. But, EPA decided it would be inappropriate for Sherwin Williams to pay for the cleanup of this site because other companies are legally responsible for its cleanup. EPA has already planned a study of the site.
"These projects, with the improvements Sherwin Williams has already made, will go a long way to improve the environment on Chicago's South Side," said Gail Ginsberg, EPA Senior Enforcement Manager. "EPA will make every effort to ensure that the Liquid Dynamics site is cleaned up, too. EPA's Superfund program will shortly begin a study of the site, which is the first step in a potential cleanup."
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