Cicero company admits dumping untreated water into sewers - FOX 10 News |

Cicero company admits dumping untreated water into sewers

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CICERO, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A west suburban gear manufacturing company pleaded guilty Wednesday to discharging industrial wastewater into the public sewer system, and agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine.

Brad Foote Gear Works of Cicero, which manufactures precision gear parts for wind turbines, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Federal Clean Water Act on at least 300 days between April 2007 and February 2011, a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office said. The company is located at 1309 S. Cicero Ave.

The company admitted illegally discharging spent acid wastewater and spent alkaline wastewater, industrial rinse waters, acidic solutions, oil, grease and metal-bearing wastewater into the Metropolitan Water Reclamation of Greater Chicago sewer system without a permit, the statement said.

Beginning in 2004, the company's then-CEO and manager of the natal etch line created a piping system that allowed untreated wastewater to be discharged into the sewer, the statement said.

The company began cooperating and taking remedial water treatment measures three years ago, after federal environmental agents executed a search warrant in February 2011, the statement said.

"To protect public health and our nation's waterways, it is critical that industries treat their wastes safely and legally before sending them into the public sewers," Randall Ashe of the EPA's Chicago office said in the statement.

Brad Foote will pay the $1.5 million fine in three $500,000 installments over three years, the statement said.

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