Citizen Complaint filed with the Illinois Pollution Control Board
In September 2016, Stop Pollution In Long Lake (SPILL) filed a complaint with the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IL PCB). When a complaint is filed with the IL PCB they are required to inform and direct the IEPA to investigate the complaint.
The SPILL complaint targets product recalls from Baxter Healthcare's Round Lake Facility. The Baxter Round Lake Facility conducts both pharmaceutical research and manufacturing; they develop and produce new intravenous (IV) solutions that are sent to hospitals. The waste from these research endeavors, as well as manufacturing errors and recalled products require appropriate disposal.
The IL Pollution Control Board notified us on 9/27/16 that they have directed the IEPA to investigate our complaint regarding the disposal of "Urgent Product Recalls" through the Baxter owned and operated sewage treatment facility, which sends its wastewater discharge into Squaw Creek that flows into Long Lake. We also submitted evidence to the IL Pollution Control Board that Baxter sought pricing estimates for disposal of high BOD5 waste through the public sanitary district. However, Baxter did not choose to exercise that option following the receipt of the disposal standards set forth by our public regional sanitary district. This concerned us greatly.
When the full investigation is complete, we will be notified of the findings, as will the Illinois Attorney General's Office and the Illinois Pollution Control Board, who will determine what actions to take.
The 2004 Squaw Creek Watershed Study indicates that an unusually high amount of Total Dissolved Solids are flowing into Squaw Creek via the tributary created by Baxter's discharge. It is clear that Baxter's wastewater treatment facility is causing deterioration of our water clarity and our water's health. Baxter's repeated violations of their NPDES permitted levels of TSS and BOD5 are further issues causing the degradation of Squaw Creek and Long Lake which are part of the Fox River Watershed.