Demolition contractor sued for improper disposal

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a complaint against Pillsbury Mills and its onsite demolition contractor for improperly removing and disposing of asbestos.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency inspectors discovered ACM being stored in trash bags, open trash cans and boxes, as well as debris scattered around the facility. The Illinois EPA then referred the case to the Attorney General.

Proper disposal involves wetting the ACM during removal and ensuring the materials remain wet until it is collected and contained, or treated prior to going to a disposal site.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. Madigan says this improper treatment has created a substantial danger to public health.

Madigan’s complaint alleges that facility owner P. Mills and contractor Midwest Demolition and Scrap, Inc., along with co-owner Joseph Chernis violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and federal regulations to prevent asbestos pollution. The lawsuit seeks permanent injunction that would require the company to properly dispose of asbestos containing materials (ACM), as well as civil penalties.

The court granted Madigan’s request for a temporary restraining order on Wednesday, August 12. This requires the defendants to immediately cease all demolition activities, post warnings and keep the contamination restricted to the facility.

Assistant Attorneys General Jane McBride, David Samuels and Andrew Suthard are handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.