Waukegan, Illinois and the Outboard Marine Corporation
From the 1940s until the mid 1970s, the Outboard Marine Corporation was the economic heart and soul of a bustling northern suburb town of Waukegan. Employing more than 5,000 workers at its peak and O.M.C was unchallenged in the community and O.M.C was allowed to do whatever they wanted as long as they continue to bring in prosperity to Waukegan. What they were allowed to do was dump millions of gallons to toxic sludge into lake Michigan, sludge containing Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB), Arsenic, Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Ammonia, Benzene and Trichloroethylene toxins. Waukegan Harbor became the Chenobol of the Midwest when this appaling act of polluting was discovered in the 1970s. Waukegan, a city that sits north of Chicago, Chicago, a city that depends on lake Michigan for drinking water, for over 20 years millions of people where exposed to these toxins from the act of one corporation. Arsenic, PCB has been associated with causing skin, breast, bladder, lung and kidney disease, Hydrocarbons can cause lung, skin, leukemia, breast, throat and larynx cancers. The Environmental Protection Agency declared in 1993 that the site was mostly cleaned, mostly because the site still contained contaminated deep underwater deposits of toxins and by this time all the clean up was funded by taxpayers, The United State E.P.A Superfund. O.M.C closed their doors for good in the year 2000, the huge plant sitting on a 1,000 acres is still consider highly toxic, but the E.P.A stated that there is no public health hazard because access to the site is limited. The city of Waukegan’s original plans was to transform the site into a recreational area, native habitat but with the city being a economic former shell of what it once was, it would highly benefit by transforming that land into residential, which would bring millions in tax revenue to a struggling economic depressed city of Waukegan. The problem with...
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