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Report: County Highway Workers Dumped Chemicals At Maintenance Yards

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Snow plows clear the road on highway. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Chris Oberholtz)

Snow plows clear the road on highway. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Chris Oberholtz)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new report accuses Cook County highway workers of dumping chemicals at maintenance yards.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard tells the Chicago Tribune the dumping of gasoline, road salt and other chemicals at work yards in Palatine and Riverdale could be an environmental hazard.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has received a copy of the report, which also accuses county Highway Department workers of skirting inspections because of a lack of equipment, the Tribune reported.

The workers allegedly swapped out worn tires on Highway Department vehicles that had already passed inspection, and took fire extinguishers from cars and placed them in unequipped vehicles that were set for inspection, the newspaper reported.

Preckwinkle tells the Tribune her office is reviewing the problems, and her new leadership team will fix them.

The Highway Department has long been thought of as a dumping ground – for politically-connected workers.

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