SPRINGFIELD—Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Interim Director Lisa Bonnett has asked the Illinois Attorney General’s office to proceed with an enforcement action against Curless Flying Service, Inc., for the improper discharge of agricultural chemicals into the Turkey Branch of Otter Creek, causing a fish kill. Curless operates an agriculture chemical facility located at 11220 East Bricker Highway, Astoria.
Acting in response to a report of dead fish to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR and Illinois EPA inspectors conducted a site investigation on July 2, 2011. They observed numerous species of dead fish, frogs and tadpoles. The inspectors proceeded to trace the dead aquatic life to a disposal site belonging to Curless. The disposal site consisted of two large burn barrels, one of which contained partially emptied jugs of agricultural chemicals. Other debris and waste was also present around the burn site.
The Illinois EPA directed Curless Flying Service to stop burning, stop open dumping and to temporarily cover the burn barrels with a tarp to prevent precipitation from entering the barrels and carrying pollutants to waters of the State. Water samples were also collected at various locations downstream of the burn site.
The Agency has requested that the Attorney General direct Curless to permanently cease the burning of agricultural chemical containers and other wastes accumulated at the burn site, and properly dispose of all existing waste from the burn site in a permitted landfill. The Agency also requests that soils and groundwater in the burn area be sampled. A soil and groundwater remediation plan, based on the results of the sample analysis and approved by the Illinois EPA, must be implemented at the facility.
The Illinois EPA will continue to provide technical and other support, as needed, to the Attorney General.