Firm vows cleanup of plastic material that washed into retention pond
A cleanup plan to remove small plastic resin pellets that were washed into a retention pond in a Libertyville business park is in the works.
Immediate measures also are being taken to keep more of the material from entering the pond or moving beyond that point, according the village, which met Wednesday with representatives of AptarGroup Inc.
"They're taking responsibility and they're stepping up and making sure the remediation get done," Mayor Terry Weppler said. "Things are going to start moving."
The plastic pieces were found in the pond off Technology Way south of Winchester Road and reported to the village Tuesday.
"We don't know exactly how much it was or when it occurred," Weppler said.
Company spokesperson Katie Reardon said the company immediately took action after becoming aware of the material in the pond across Technology Way east of its facility.
Those actions included sending personnel to inspect the area and engaging an environmental firm to assist, she said. She said preliminary findings point to a storm drainage system that moves runoff to the pond.
"It appears that some plastic resin pellets, caps and closures from our production facility were -- over time -- inadvertently left on the pavement surrounding the area where such materials are loaded onto and unloaded from trucks at the facility," Reardon said Wednesday in an email.
"It is our preliminary belief that these materials unintentionally washed into the storm drainage system and subsequently into the retention pond," she said.
Weppler, with public works and other staff members, met with company officials to determine the next steps. Temporary filters are expected to be installed to prevent any materials "from moving to or beyond the retention pond" while the company develops a plan with support from its consulting firm, according to Reardon.
Part of the investigation will be to determine if any of the material left the pond, which drains into a stream through Pine Meadow golf club, St. Mary of the Lake seminary and into Butler Lake.
"Right now, we're in the investigative stage," Weppler said. "The most important thing is to get the pond covered so nothing goes downstream."
Weppler said a substantial beaver dam may have prevented some of the materials from moving through.
Reardon said the company, which has been operating in Libertyville more than 10 years, is moving with urgency and has pledged its full support to Weppler and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to remediate the situation.
"We care about our planet and we have robust recycling and waste management programs. We remain committed to acting with integrity, taking actions to prevent this from happening again and doing what is right for the community," Reardon said.
Aptar, headquartered in Crystal Lake, supplies a range of dispensing products for the beauty, personal care, home care, prescription drug, consumer health care, injectables, and food and beverage markets, according to its website. It employs more than 13,000 and has a "manufacturing presence" in 18 countries.