City tackles pollution complaints

May 1, 2019

KANKAKEE — Authorities are investigating water pollution complaints near the Kankakee River.

Late Monday morning, the Kankakee Fire Department was called out to the 100 block of West Water Street in response to allegations that a business was draining oil and other pollutants into the river.

Neighbors said a business was allowing pollutants to go into a storm sewer that empties into the river.

Officials showed up during a rainstorm to investigate.

Fire Capt. Mike Casagrande said his agency has informed the Illinois EPA and the county health department about the problem. He said he observed something of concern going into the storm sewer near the business in question. Officials would look into the matter, he said.

Dariusz Kakareko, who runs a nearby business, said he had called authorities before about the issue, but there was no response. He said he hoped that would change this time.

“We need to report this and take care of it. This is our river, and we need to stop the madness,” Kakareko said.

Kakareko and others took pictures of what they said were pollutants being drained into the river.

Fire Chief Damon Schuldt said later Monday that his department took measures to absorb the possible pollutants, preventing them from going into the river.