Cleaning Up the Environment

Attorney General Madigan believes that every Illinoisan has a right to enjoy clean air, land and water.

As Attorney General, Lisa Madigan has zealously fought to enforce the state’s environmental laws. Madigan coordinates the Illinois Environmental Crimes Investigators Network, which includes over 400 law enforcement officers who are specifically trained to detect air, water and land pollution. She has investigated and prosecuted numerous civil and criminal actions against polluters. Through these cases, Attorney General Madigan has worked to ensure that polluters are financially responsible for cleaning up the devastation caused by their actions, not the taxpayers.

Attorney General Madigan has also championed legislation that requires community residents to be notified whenever it is determined that their drinking water may be unsafe. This law will ensure that the people of Illinois never have to endure again the scandal that hit the Village of Crestwood, where residents were exposed to contaminated water for more than 20 years. Attorney General Madigan has sued the Crestwood officials who were alleged to have covered up the water contamination and is fighting to hold them responsible for their actions.

Environmental justice is an important priority for Attorney General Madigan. She has fought to close unlawful landfills that were in some of the poorest areas of the State and to restrict emissions from older coal-fired power plants that remain in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods. Through her environmental litigation, Attorney General Lisa Madigan has directed proceeds from pollution settlements to fund the preservation of wetlands, which are a critical part of a healthy ecosystem.

One example of Attorney General Madigan’s work to protect the environment and public health occurred when residents living adjacent to Exelon’s Braidwood nuclear power plant discovered that radioactive tritium-tainted water had leaked from a nearby power plant, contaminating their source of drinking water. Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow filed suit against Exelon. Later, the suit was expanded to include other Exelon nuclear power plants. Earlier this year, Lisa Madigan and the county prosecutors reached a $1 million settlement in which Exelon agreed to monitor ground water near their plants and fund conservation projects in the affected counties.

Aggressively pursuing polluters and ensuring that the State’s air, land and water are protected for future generations are priorities that Attorney General Lisa Madigan will continue to pursue.

Michelle Young