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Alleged Plant Pollution Has Brillion Residents Concerned

Some Brillion residents claim a local plant is polluting their properties, leaving behind a layer of black soot.

A thin black layer of soot covers the property of Brian McKnight.

        "You can go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and your car will be completely covered in the stuff," he says.

The cause? McKnight blames the Brillion Iron Works facility across the street. But he isn't sure what the substance is.

        "It eats through glass, it eats through paint jobs, it eats through plastic. It eats through chrome and rubber."

And the state is taking notice. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says it has received multiple complaints on the matter.

"If there's some monitoring that needs to be done, that will be done," says DNR Spokesperson Ed Culhane. "And we'll get back to the people with complaints and talk about what happened."

We tried to contact Brillion Iron Works - owned by Accuride Corp. - ourselves, but we were referred to Accuride Corp. headquarters. Calls to Accuride were not immediately returned.

In a 2012 Annual Report released by Accuride, the company claims involvement in a legal dispute over stormwater regulations at the Brillion Facility. It also claims involvement in multiple matters related to the disposal of foundry waste at an undisclosed location(s).  

The DNR says it also performed an air quality inspection on the facility just last year.

        "I know that people called to complain about this emission that apparently came from Brillion Iron Works," said Culhane. "There was some air testing done. I don't believe those air tests showed too much."

McKnight claims the company sent collectors to take samples from his property earlier this week. Now, he's waiting to hear back.

        "I'm in it for health reasons, and to have it stop. I'm waiting for phone calls back for what they find," he says.

The DNR is also waiting to hear back from the company after it's air engineers attempted to contact it.

        "They did make an initial attempt to reach out to the company already, and we'll be pursuing the complaint with due dilligence."

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