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IEPA OKs work at Seward chemical plant

Published: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 10:26 p.m. CDT

SEWARD (AP) – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says limited manufacturing may resume at a fire-damaged northern Illinois chemical plant.

Agency officials and attorney general’s office gave the approval Wednesday for the Nova-Kem plant in the town of Seward, about 18 miles west of Rockford.

The Rockford Register Star reports that approval is contingent on several conditions, including installing a fire alarm with remote notification and allowing the EPA to inspect and monitor the process.

A June 2 explosion and fire caused a 24-hour evacuation of the town.

Nova-Kem CEO and President Reno Novak apologized to residents during a community meeting Tuesday. He says authorities are still investigating, but that a control system failure likely released the chemical that sparked the explosion and fire.

Novak says on- and off-site cleanup is ongoing.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com

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