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Local News

EPA overseeing cleanup of chemical plant destroyed in fire

Barrels lay charred and warped after the MPG Industries chemical plant in Joliet was destroyed by fire in August.
Barrels lay charred and warped after the MPG Industries chemical plant in Joliet was destroyed by fire in August.

The Environmental Protection Agency will oversee the cleanup of a chemical plant outside New Lenox that was destroyed by fire in August, according to a news release.

On Aug. 3 and 4, a large fire destroyed the MPG Industries chemical plant at 20604 Amherst Court, EPA officials said. The company makes custom tools with special chemicals.

Fire crews spent more than 11 hours over the weekend fighting the two-building fire just off Interstate 80.

New Lenox Fire Protection District officials said no one was injured in the incident.

On Oct. 9, the EPA entered into an agreement with the owners of the plant to clean up the site.

“EPA will be conducting oversight of cleanup operations, which are expected to be completed by the end of the year,” EPA officials said on their website.

The work began Monday, as crews removed tanks that contained firefighting water as well as scrap metal from the destroyed building, EPA officials said.

The EPA also plans to have contaminated soil from neighboring properties of the plant removed.

Drinking-water wells around the cleanup site will be sampled to check for possible contamination, officials said.

More information about the cleanup effort can be found on the EPA’s website at bit.ly/35Ubg8i.

The EPA worked with state and local officials after the fire to assess the site and conduct emergency site stabilization and cleanup activities, which were completed in September.

The fire at the chemical plant was deemed officially “out” almost one week after fire crews responded to the incident.

New Lenox fire officials said the scale of the fire made it prone to continued flare ups.

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