Bills Are Piling Up in Water Contamination Case Some Wonder If Lockformer Will Even Be Able to Pay for All the Cleanup, Lawsuits

By Pyke, Marni | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 12, 2003 | Go to article overview

Bills Are Piling Up in Water Contamination Case Some Wonder If Lockformer Will Even Be Able to Pay for All the Cleanup, Lawsuits


Pyke, Marni, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Marni Pyke Daily Herald Staff Writer

Recent findings by state investigators could add to the snowballing expenses faced by a Lisle equipment manufacturer accused of polluting hundreds of area wells.

Some already are questioning how Lockformer Co. and its parent company, Met-Coil Systems Corp., can pay for the environmental cleanup and multiple lawsuits.

"They're facing a massive liability," said attorney Shawn Collins, who is representing nearby residents with tainted drinking water. "We're concerned that what may be in jeopardy is Lockformer's ability to clean up the property."

Lockformer, which makes metal-forming equipment, and Met-Coil are subsidiaries of Mestek Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation.

In November, Mestek issued a quarterly statement to the federal Securities Exchange Commission containing a caution to stockholders about attempts to borrow money for remediation.

"Met-Coil has received no formal commitment from any of the lenders it has approached," according to the report. "There can be no assurance, therefore, that Met-Coil will be able to meet its obligations in relation to the work plan."

The update wasn't all gloom and doom. Officials also spoke of setting aside reserves and seemed confident about prevailing in litigation.

An attorney for Mestek says the company can't elaborate on statements in the SEC report.

"We can't give an individual details when we're not giving them to anyone else," George Vurdelja said.

Met-Coil and Lockformer officials did not return calls.

TCE and Lockformer

Authorities say Lockformer's troubles started in the 1970s when gallons of the toxic solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE, seeped into the soil of the plant at 711 Ogden Ave. The releases continued for years, authorities say, creating a TCE plume that ended up in people's wells as far as two miles away.

In May 2002, a civil action lawsuit filed by Collins on behalf of Lisle homeowners living near the plant was settled for $10 million.

The company also is being sued by residents from the unincorporated Woodridge Estates and Suburban Estates neighborhoods south of Lisle's borders.

Lockformer has acknowledged some TCE may have left its property but denies it is responsible for widespread pollution.

However, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency officials say new tests on South Road show contamination traveled from Lockformer to Woodridge Estates and Suburban Estates.

"It puts it right in line with those subdivisions," IEPA Project Manager Stan Komperda said.

And monitoring wells on the property indicate TCE may be migrating west toward businesses on Ogden Avenue, compounding the problem, officials said.

A big price tag

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 ordered Lockformer to remediate the TCE-saturated soil at its plant.

Workers will remove the TCE using two methods, one of which requires heating the soil and extracting contaminants through steam and a second that uses a vacuuming process.

The heating stage alone will cost $3.1 million, according to the EPA. Estimates are not available for the vacuuming process.

Once that work is done, there's polluted ground water to deal with.

"Our hope is that there will be enough money there to clean the property up," Collins said. "It could be virtually a never-ending source of contamination."

Purifying the ground water could take years, EPA on-scene- coordinator Steve Faryan said.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bills Are Piling Up in Water Contamination Case Some Wonder If Lockformer Will Even Be Able to Pay for All the Cleanup, Lawsuits
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.