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Crestwood officials approve $50,000 settlement of contaminated water lawsuit


CRESTWOOD, Illinois — Crestwood village trustees approved an out-of-court settlement with the state over accusations of contaminated drinking water.

The village will pay $50,000, but not admit to any wrongdoing, to settle the lawsuit filed by the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. If the case had gone to court, Crestwood would've been subject to fines of $1 million or more, according to village attorney David Sosin.

Madigan's office sued the village in 2009, saying it mixed contaminated well water with water from Lake Michigan for about two decades. In 1986, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency ordered Crestwood officials not to use the well water for that purpose, the Southtown Star ( ) reported.

The well was shut down by the state department in 2007 after it discovered the village had been filing fraudulent paperwork to hide its use of the bad well. Two former village employees were convicted last year of lying about secretly mixing carcinogen-tainted well water into the village's drinking supply.

Mayor Lou Presta said he had been involved in settlement talks since shortly after he was elected to office in April 2013.

Village officials plan to meet with lawyers early next month to discuss terms of a possible settlement regarding dozens of lawsuits filed by current and former residents who say the water, which was contaminated with vinyl chloride, caused many health problems, according to Presta.

Information from: Southtown Star,

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