Board of Health Rejects Arnold Engineering Real Estate Owner’s Request to Escape Ordered Cleanup

Sunday, McHenry County Blog published environmental attorney Jeffrey Diver’s request for the McHenry County Board of Health to reject the request for leniency in cleaning up the groundwater pollution caused by Marengo’s Arnold Engineering.

Last night Board of Health members voted, without dissent, to require the polluters to remediate the pollution.

Another opponent was former McHenry County Board member Ersel Schuster.

Here is what she wrote:

Technical and Regulatory Justification for Establishing a Groundwater‐Use Restriction Ordinance: Arnold Site, Marengo, Illinois

Submitted To: McHenry County Board – Prepared By: Environmental Information Logistics

LLC – Prepared For: 300 West LLC – 12/9/19

Public Meeting 9/23/20 – 6:30 PM – McHenry County Admin. Building, Ware Rd., Woodstock, IL

To this proposal, unfortunately, the proverbial “horse is out of the barn…” folks!

Once more you, 300W/Arnold Engineering, continue spending huge sums of money in your all-out effort to avoid the real solution to this problem.

Since 1990, 300W/Arnold, the McHenry County Dept of Health, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the Illinois Attorney General have known about the groundwater contamination you have caused.

In the intervening 23 years, and by 2013, that contamination had spread beyond your property and neighbors were ordered to stop using their private wells as that water was dangerous to man and beast.

While the blame rests squarely in your court; your actions… or ultimate inactions, to avoid the inevitable, destroyed your neighbors and their property values.

Your long-fought efforts to avoid immediate remediation of your site, when the issue was identified, has been tantamount to criminal!

Had you cleaned up your contaminated site 30 years ago, your neighbors would have been spared huge personal costs as their properties have been rendered unsaleable.

These are agricultural properties and currently under “county” control, and law; further, they’re being eyed for “annexation” by the city.

As outlined above, 300W/Arnold are the responsible parties… however, the real issue rests on the shoulders of McHenry County Board members.

That would be members who approved the zoning change to industrial and to those who never followed through in protecting and enforcing their
Ordinances over several decades.

Now we have a situation where the City of Marengo, and 300W/Arnold are desperate to get the situation settled, to their mutual benefit, so the property can be developed as has been proposed.

Ultimately, their new proposal leaves the surrounding property owners hanging-out-to-dry… so to speak.

The half-assed attempt to appease them with a highly questionable “city water” solution for agricultural properties, is laughable

The costs to these residents are unsustainable.

What is of greatest importance, aside from making the surrounding property owners financially whole for all their losses, is that McHenry County Board Members need to know that their predecessors’ actions, in approving this zoning, have had devastating effects, physical and financial to all involved.

It is your Ordinances, and your lack of understanding of the impact, and unintended consequences of “spot-zoning” that is critical.

It is now you… who must take this responsibility and prevent such issues.

This proposed Groundwater Ordinance… does nothing for those affected by the county’s original actions and ongoing inactions over the years.

It does nothing to make the neighbors whole.

What it does allow… is a green light for Marengo and 300W/Arnold to skate from their responsibilities.


Board of Health Rejects Arnold Engineering Real Estate Owner’s Request to Escape Ordered Cleanup — 1 Comment

  1. Are the culprits patrons of Franks, too?

    That would be the topper!

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