Court order keeps Nova-Kem closed after explosion - – Rockford’s News Leader

Court order keeps Nova-Kem closed after explosion


A court order states Nova-Kem will remain closed until the cause of a June 2 explosion at the chemical manufacturing plant is determined.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recently asked for an injunction against the Seward company from the Illinois State's Attorney's Office. According to the complaint, smoke from the plant could have contained particulate matter, chemical burn products, and other hazardous substances like chlorine and hydrogen chloride. A two-mile area around the plant was evacuated.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, "This incident created a significant threat to the public's safety and the surrounding environment. We're taking this legal action to ensure the area is secured and the site is cleaned up before the facility can resume operations."

Under the injunction, Nova-Kem must do the following:

  • Secure the plant and restrict pubic access
  • Immediately hire a structural engineer to ascertain the buildings' accessibility and identify and flammable or explosive materials at the site
  • Provide copies of any air, water, and soil sampling
  • Identify the quantity of the chemicals and other materials that were emitted into the area
  • Submit cleanup and corrective action work plans for approval by the IEPA and Attorney General's office

The complaint also seeks civil penalties of $50,000 for each violation of Illinois' environmental laws and an additional $10,000 for each day of violation.

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