Melrose Park book plant accused of air pollution

Source: Chicago Tribune, December 27, 2012
By: Jennifer Delgado

State sues firm, contending it broke law in installing 10 printing presses

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Thursday against a west suburban bookbinding and printing plant that she said illegally installed equipment that contributes to air pollution.

The 77-page suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges Melrose Park-based Lake Book Manufacturing Inc. broke the law when it didn’t get construction permits before installing 10 printing presses that are capable of emitting “volatile organic materials,” also known as regulated air pollutants.

The attorney general said the company didn’t obtain operating permits for the printing presses and two gas-fired boilers that also can cause pollution.

Madigan is asking the court to force the company to stop using the equipment and pay penalties of up to $50,000 for each violation and an additional $10,000 for each day it illegally operated the machines.

Lake Book Manufacturing could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. According to its website, the company has been producing books for 40 years.

An inspection in November 2010 found that the company didn’t have the proper construction or operating permits from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency before installing some presses, nor did it pay any permit fees, as required by the state’s Environmental Protection Act, according to the lawsuit.

The book manufacturer “had a potential to emit (volatile organic materials) greater than 25 tons per year” starting in 2000, states the lawsuit, which cites information the company provided to the state EPA.

The company also didn’t submit annual emissions reports to the Illinois EPA between 1992 and 2010 and other seasonal reports, the lawsuit contends.

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