- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WEST CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Republicans are urging the Obama administration to make good on a 1992 promise to clean up an abandoned atomic manufacturing site in West Chicago.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam this week visited the site of the former Kerr-McGee factory with West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda and DuPage County Board member Jim Zay.

As long ago as World War II, the site was used to produce the radioactive rare-earth element thorium for federal atomic energy and defense programs.

It’s no longer used and officials say remaining contamination threatens local public health and drives down property values.

A plan adopted in 1992 authorizes the Department of Energy to reimburse communities for the cleanup of thorium and uranium. But the program has received no funding since 2009.

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