MILLSTADT, IL (KTVI) – Crews in chemical protective suits from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spent Tuesday moving in and out of the abandoned Advanced Asymmetrics laboratory facility in Millstadt. The site was sealed off and made off-limits back in August when the IEPA determined the site poses, "an immediate health threat to anyone entering the site."
That was no surprise to Gary Greenhill who lives only a block away. “I just wish they’d let us know what is over there,” says Greenhill. “The deal in China, they had a big explosion over there that killed a lot of people. I don’t want that to happen here.”
IEPA reports they have referred a case to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against Advanced Asymmetrics for failure to comply with applicable Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations. IEPA has also asked the U.S. EPA to become the lead agency for the cleanup. FOX 2 reached out to EPA officials who referred us to the United States Attorney's office for Southern Illinois.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would neither confirm nor deny they were involved in an investigation regarding the hazardous chemicals at the site.
IEPA officials tell FOX 2 the property, located at 109 South Kossuth in Millstadt, was discovered to be unlocked with broken windows when it was inspected back in August. Inspectors detected an odor from outside the building, an odor residents say has been around for some time.
Upon entering the facility, inspectors found analytical equipment, labeled and unlabeled chemical bottles and broken bottles on the floor. Several containers labeled hazardous waste were also found on the property. Thousands of containers ranging from a few milliliters to 55-gallon drums were discovered during the inspection.
FOX 2 reached out to the Millstadt Mayor, Police Chief and Fire Chief for comment on safety concerns and they all declined comment and instead referred us to the EPA and U.S. Attorney for Southern, IL.