SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Bonnett has referred an enforcement action to the Illinois Attorney General’s office against Zeman Homes, Inc., for causing and allowing untreated sanitary sewage to discharge to the ground and a nearby ditch, threatening and/or causing water pollution.
In the referral, the Agency asks the Attorney General to seek immediate injunctive relieve and a final consent order to have Zeman cease further violations of environmental laws and take appropriate action to clean up untreated sanitary sewage released to the environment.
Zemanís Cortland Mobile Home Park is located just outside of Cortland at 300 South Somonauk Road in DeKalb County. The property contains approximately 90 mobile homes. An anonymous tip was reported to the DeKalb County Health Department on March 21 that untreated sanitary sewage was leaking into the Mound Rest Cemetery, located east of the mobile home park. Illinois EPA received information of the complaint on March 24, and subsequently inspected the mobile home park and neighboring properties.
Information obtained from the DeKalb County Public Health Department indicates several thousand gallons of sewage had been released from the system. Further investigation by an Illinois EPA inspector found that the tank and equipment described by complainants had been removed from the location. Additionally, sewage had impacted the neighboring cemetery and the Cortland Animal Hospital. Sewage deposits were also found in a ditch that drained toward Route 38.
The Illinois EPA inspection identified numerous violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Illinois Pollution Control Board Regulations. Through the referral, Illinois EPA is seeking both immediate and permanent injunctive relief from Zeman, including that the company must ensure it repairs and evaluates the septic system for proper operation, and properly removes and disposes of any remaining sewage on the ground surface and ditches.