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Attorney General Files Pollution Lawsuit Against Oak Forest Hospital

On Aug. 28, Lisa Madigan filed a suit against Cook County due to an alleged failure to file permits on behalf of the old Oak Forest Hospital in a timely manner.

Attorney General Files Pollution Lawsuit Against Oak Forest Hospital

The old is at the center of a lawsuit between Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County.

The suit centers on two apparent failures by the county to submit permit applications with the state, which were reported to the Attorney General by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, according to Attorney General spokesperson Scott Mulford.

“...The actions which gave rise to the alleged violations were that the hospital did not meet the deadlines for renewing its permit and filing its Annual Emission Report,” Mulford said via email.

The permit the hospital failed to file regards its Federally Enforceable State Operating Permit—without it, the hospital was operating without an air pollution permit. The second allegation stems from the hospital filing its 2009 Annual Emissions Report late. Powered by gas-fired boilers, the hospital has potential of emitting more than 100 tons of toxic nitrogen oxides and other pollutants per year, according to the complaint filed Aug. 28, as referenced in a brief in Crain's Chicago Business.

Mulford said that Federally Enforceable State Operating Permit was submitted by the hospital and is currently pending with the Illinois EPA.

“It's ... fairly straightforward, it's just some permits and recordkeeping reports that simply were not filed in a timely manner,” Mulford said.

He said that the county will have 30 to 45 days to file a response to the Cook County Circuit Court, at which point the case will go before a judge. 

Phone calls to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle went unreturned. 

The Cook County Health and Hospitals System is in the midst of converting the facility into a 24-hour urgent care center.

 

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