The Cross Brothers disposal/recycling facility : the applicability of Illinois hazardous waste regulations
Bechely, Kenneth P.
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The Illinois laws and regulations which pertain to hazardous waste handling and disposal are not necessarily strong enough to prevent illegal facilities from operating. In fact, the regulations which are currently in effect are quite recent in origin. Proposed state regulations on hazardous waste will not close all of the loopholes in the current statutes. James and Abner Cross operated a drum and pail reclaiming facility in Pembroke Township, Kankakee County, Illinois, from 1961 to 1980. The method of operation, employed by the Cross Brothers, caused a large volume of hazardous waste to be illegally dumped on the ground. The unregulated operation of the facility has resulted in significant contamination of the shallow aquifer adjacent to the site. The site is now closed as a result of legal action by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. However, it operated in an unregulated atmosphere many years after the Agency was created, and for several years following the adoption of various hazardous waste regulations and programs. The site was discovered by accident, after much environmental degradation had occurred. The current state hazardous waste program did not lead investigators to the site. The proposed state regulations which pertain to the reclaiming of "empty" drums will allow facilities, similar to the Cross Brothers' site, to operate unregulated and undetected. Without certain changes, the Environmental Protection Agency may find these sites only after it is too late.