Lisle Residents Sue Plant for Water Contamination

Nov. 20, 2000

A federal lawsuit was filed by approximately 40 residents of Lisle, Ill., alleging that a nearby metal fabricating plant contaminated their drinking water with trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic chemical known to cause cause liver and kidney damage, heart problems, convulsions and even death in high concentrations.

Tests showed that TCE was in 13 or 17 residential wells in the area. (The company used TCE as a degreaser to clean metal parts, an attorney for the residents said.)

The lawsuit states that Lockformer Co. spilled an industrial solvent (TCE) into the ground over the course of more than 20 years, where it reached the aquifer that supplies the neighbohoods drinking water.

The chemical was routinely spilled into the ground beginning about 1968, the suit contends, but the company didn't inform residents of problems even after Lockformer officials learned in 1992 that soil around the plant was contaminated with TCE. Many residents first learned of the contamination this past summer when Lisle officials contacted them.

Lockformer officials referred questions to their attorney, who did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

A state environmental official said tests haven't conclusively determined that the TCE found in the residential wells came from Lockformer.

(Source: The Chicago Tribune)

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