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Park City retains 2 air quality experts to address odors

Park City Mayor Steve Pannell. | Ed Collins~for Sun-Times Media

Park City Mayor Steve Pannell. | Ed Collins~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 22, 2012 1:56AM

Council aldermen have made haste in hiring two important air quality experts to help the city eliminate foul odors wafting from a nearby Waukegan compost facility since July.

The Council has employed Glenn Sechen as its special legal counsel for considering potential abatement action against Nu-Earth Organics, 3000 Apple Drive, Waukegan, in addressing noxious odors coming from the new plant.

Sechen is former chief of Environmental Litigation for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and has served as special assistant attorney general for civil and criminal environmental enforcement. He is now in private practice.

Aldermen have also contracted with RK & Associates, in Warrenville and Glen Ellyn, Ill., to provide specialized air quality and odor management services in eliminating the odor nuisance that has plagued residents of west Waukegan and eastern Park City for months.

The firm will conduct field odor monitoring near the compost site, compile and evaluate testing data, and prepare reports suitable for legal use.

The company indicates that it has considerable experience in tracking odorous emissions typically coming from decaying organic and sulfur matter undergoing biological and chemical decomposition.

Mayor Steve Pannell said the city is paying fees out of its fiscal budget for the services of both Attorney Sechen and the air-quality testing firm.

“We will not rest until these unhealthy and disgusting odors are eliminated,” Pannell promised an over-flow crowd who attended a public hearing on the odor problem last Thursday night at City Hall.

Shortly after the session ended, Ald. Tom Crafton announced that he was resigning from the council effective immediately, and moving to Wisconsin “where the air is better” since the stench was affecting his health.

Crafton explained he was not able to enjoy his patio this summer because of the odors coming from the nearby compost yard, and said he was suffering pulmonary problems from breathing the foul air for the past several months.

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