Hilco Development Partners (“Hilco”) is facing several lawsuits as a result of the recent implosion of a smokestack in April, when a dense plume of dust covered the Little Village Neighborhood.
The Illinois Attorney General (“AG”) filed a lawsuit in May alleging that the smokestack demolition emitted, “mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and other pollutants.” The effects of pollutants such as mercury can have severe effects on human health, depending on age and exposure. The AG seeks to enjoin Hilco to take “all necessary corrective action that will result in a final and permanent abatement of violations.” Although the complaint was filed in May 2020, Hilco has been granted several extensions to build its case.
Hilco faces a separate lawsuit from Little Village residents alleging Hilco cut corners demolishing the old smokestack. In addition to making allegations similar to those in the Attorney General’s complaint, the class action lawsuit also alleges nuisance and property damage to all class members.
The City of Chicago has also penalized Hilco. Before both lawsuits, the City of Chicago issued a $68,000 fine against Hilco and its contractors following the smokestack implosion. The City proposed an ordinance in response to the demolition in early September that has advanced out of the Development Committee. The full City Council will vote on the measure some time this month.
 Kari Lydersen, After Chicago coal plant demolition debacle, residents demand changes, Energy News Network (Apr. 17, 2020), https://energynews.us/2020/04/17/midwest/after-chicago-coal-plant-demolition-debacle-residents-demand-changes/; Chicago-Kent Journal of Environmental Law and Energy, Proposed Ordinance Seeks to Reform How and Where Industrial Plants in Chicago are Sited, JEEL Blog (Sept. 27, 2020), https://studentorgs.kentlaw.iit.edu/ckjeel/2020/09/27/proposed-ordinance-seeks-to-reform-how-and-where-industrial-plants-in-chicago-are-sited/.
 Complaint for Injunctive Relief and Civil Penalties at 4, People v. Hilco Redev. LLC., Cook County, Illinois Chancery Division, No. 2020CH04076, https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2020_05/HILCO-Complaint_FILED_5-5-2020.pdf. [hereinafter Complaint]
 EPA, Health Effects of Exposures to Mercury (last visited Oct. 2, 2020), https://www.epa.gov/mercury/health-effects-exposures-mercury.
 Complaint, supra note 2, at 15.
 Case Summary for Case Number 2020CH006076, Chancery Division, http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/courtcasesearch/DocketSearch.aspx.
 Complaint at 1, Solis v. Hilco Redev. LLC, No. 1:20-cv-02348, (N.D. Ill. Apr. 15, 2020).
 Id. at 14.
 Mauricio Pena and Kelly Bauer, ‘They Utterly Failed’: City Slaps Hilco With $68,000 In Fines For Little Village Dust Cloud, Bans Implosions For 6 Months, Book Club Chicago (Apr. 17, 2020), https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/04/17/they-utterly-failed-city-slaps-hilco-with-68000-fines-for-little-village-dust-cloud-bans-implosions-for-6-months/.
 Justin Laurence, Ordinance Creating Process To Revoke Tax Incentives From ‘Bad Actor’ Developers Moves Forward, Book Club Chicago (Sept. 20. 2020), https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/09/30/ordinance-creating-process-to-revoke-property-tax-incentives-from-bad-actors-moves-forward/.