The federal court in Chicago held hearings on the City of Evanston’s motion for preliminary injunction in the James Park environmental litigation on eight days, concluding on Sept. 7. The suit alleges that defendants Northern Illinois Gas Company (NIGC) and Commonwealth Edison Company are responsible for environmental contamination in and around James Park. In its motion for preliminary injunction, the City asks the Court to order defendants to 1) investigate and identify the location of the NIGC pipelines throughout the City, 2) determine the extent of contamination caused by leakage of MG Waste Oils from the NIGC Pipelines, and, 3) develop a remedial action plan to address the contamination.

At the conclusion of the hearings, the Court granted the City leave to amend its motion for preliminary injunction, and set a briefing schedule on the motion. The court set the motion for oral argument on Jan. 23, 2019.

As of January 2018, the City had spent $2.8 million on legal and expert consultant fees on the matter. Corporation Counsel Michelle Masoncup told the RoundTable that the City had spent $2.1 million in fees in 2018, bringing the total fees spent on the case to close to $5 million.

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...