Under the terms of an agreed court order announced Tuesday,Naperville, IL-based Nicor Inc. must identify all the homes toinspect for possible mercury contamination that occurred frommishandled gas regulators.

The order, set by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Paul Biebel,could cover as many as 200,000 suburban Chicago homes and severalscrap yards and service centers where the used regulators had beentaken for disposal. Nicor also has to hand over its list ofpotentially contaminated sites to state and federal officials.

Cook County, DuPage County and the Illinois Attorney Generalfiled a lawsuit against Nicor last week after the company disclosedit had found mercury contamination in some homes where oldregulators had been removed (see Daily GPI, Sept. 6).

The court ruling said that Nicor first has to identifypotentially contaminated homes where young children, pregnant womenor anyone at a high risk might live.

Nicor CEO Tom Fisher said the company was pleased with theagreement, and said the company will “continue our ongoing effortsto inspect and to, where needed, clean up all of the homespotentially affected.” Fisher said Nicor had accelerated itsprogram to identify, inspect and cleanup any possiblecontamination, and would provide “regular updates on our progress.”

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