On June 29, 2021, a fire broke out at Superior Battery Inc. located at 919 East Benton Street in Morris. Initial reports to the Morris Fire Department indicated that the building contained approximately 180,000 to 200,000 pounds of lithium batteries.  The fire produced smoke with potentially dangerous particulates and prompted an evacuation order by local authorities of a one-square mile radius around the facility.  Personnel from multiple federal, state, and local agencies and organizations are responding to the fire. 

Illinois EPA deployed Office of Emergency Response personnel to the fire on June 29, and remains on site providing technical assistance for environmental response and sampling efforts.

Enforcement

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) has referred an enforcement action to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office citing violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Illinois Pollution Control Board Regulations related to the release or potential release of pollutants to the atmosphere and water, and to improper waste handling.The referral asks the Attorney General to pursue legal action and require Superior Battery Inc. to take a number of actions, including obtain a consultant to determine the cause of the fire; cease and/or prevent releases from the site; contain any runoff and prevent any off-site discharge of water; provide a detailed inventory of site materials and a description of the processes performed at the site; identify any waste streams generated at the site; provide an estimate of air contaminants emitted as a result of the fire; develop and implement plans to properly remove and dispose of wases from the site; retain an environmental contractor to perform on- and off-site investigation and remediation; and establish procedures to prevent future re-occurrences.

Sampling

Documents and Links

News release - Illinois EPA Referral to the Attorney General's Office