On July 24th at approximately 8:18 pm, the Antioch Fire Department received a notice from a concerned citizen that a liquid material appeared to be leaking from the former Circuit Systems building located at 884 Anita Street. An immediate hazmat response was launched and notifications were given to the Illinois and Federal EPAs. State and federal officials quickly responded to the scene where local hazmat teams were working at containing the spill. Initial chemical analysis suggests that the spilled material is ferric chloride, which is an acid and is commonly used in circuit board manufacture.
Since that time, we have worked closely with the state and federal officials to ensure that the leakage is stopped, the storage tanks which served as the source of this chemical were emptied and the public is protected. Our onsite observations suggest that some of the ferric chloride may have entered the waters of Sequoit Creek. We have serious concerns to make sure our waterways are fully protected, of course, but we have been assured that the concentrations of the acid are small enough to have an insignificant effect on the water in the creek and aquatic life. There appears to be no possible danger to the public from this leakage at the present time and once the tanks are completely empty, there can be no further spills.
The Fire Department, Village, State, and Federal officials have been in contact with the owner of the property and are taking all steps necessary to protect the public as well as to investigate why this chemical was present in this building, considering that there has been no circuit board manufacturing going on in recent years. The Village will work with its sister agencies to bring any appropriate charges and liabilities against any responsible parties and will continue all necessary efforts to prevent any future incidents of this nature. Reimbursement will certainly be sought for all expenses incurred by our public agencies in providing first responders and materials.
While this incident has attracted news media attention, the fact is that the spill was comparatively small and quickly contained. There is no significant danger presented to the public because of the excellent work of our Fire Department and the Lake County Hazardous Materials Response team working with the supplemental guidance of the state and federal officials from the EPA. We extend much appreciation toward the people who worked through the night on the 24th and brought this incident under control during this past week. Without their efforts, this might have been a much worse situation.
For further information contact:
First Fire Protection District of Antioch