TAYLORVILLE — A Kroger store in Taylorville was closed on Friday with all employees removed from the premises.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) issued a Seal Order against the grocery store located at 201 E. Bidwell St. The seal order was due to concerns relating to asbestos contamination.
IEPA took action following a complaint about renovation work inside the store on July 29.
Inspectors found that the work had released asbestos into the air.
“Removal operations have rendered asbestos-containing material (ACM) friable, which can cause the uncontrolled discharge of asbestos fibers into the environment,” the agency noted in a press release. “IEPA inspectors observed that SSI had constructed a containment. However, the material was escaping the containment. [It] was observed within areas of the building accessible to the public.”
The agency also refers to enforcement action against the company and SSI Services to the Illinois Attorney General’s office. The action alleges violations of the state’s Environmental Protection Act and state pollution control regulations.
Renovation and demolition activities at Kroger store halted
Renovation and demolition activities are currently at a standstill, per IEPA’s request. The IEPA referral requests that Attorney General Kwame Raoul represent the agency and obtain a preliminary injunctive order. The order would be against both Kroger and SSI Services to cease the further illegal discharge of asbestos into the environment.
Kroger and SSI will likely be ordered to take numerous additional actions including securing the facility and all dumpsters and transfer containers. Other actions will include forbidding any unauthorized entry of any person into the facility, except those approved by the IEPA and licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health to perform asbestos remediation activities.
The Seal Order will remain in effect until it is rescinded by the Illinois EPA.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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