The Chicago Tribune recently told the tale of unintended consequences–consequences that could result in serious health problems for some residents of the City of Chicago and potential toxic tort exposure. According to the article, “[t]he problem starts with lead service lines that Chicago installed across the city until the mid-1980s to connect water mains with homes. Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that spikes of lead can leach into tap water when those pipes are altered by water main replacements, meter installations or street work.” It appears that the real problem is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing “to speed up the replacement of aging water mains and increase the number of water meters installed citywide — two activities that EPA researchers found to be linked to high amounts of lead in tap water.”
Now that EPA researchers have made these findings, the City has been advising residents to open all household taps for three to five minutes after a water main has been replaced on their street. This raises an issue, however, as to whether this warning is enough, and whether the City’s actions in response to the EPA’s findings could lead to toxic tort lawsuits if residents end of getting sick from lead poisoning.
Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments. To subscribe to this blog and and sign up for my free newsletter, go to http://illinoisenvironmentallaw.com/subscribe/. To set up a free initial consultation to discuss your legal matter, please contact Chicago environmental attorney Dave Scriven-Young at (312) 239-9722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.