Local governments, including Bloomington, Normal, Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Decatur, Champaign County, Piatt County and the Mahomet Aquifer Valley Water Authority have filed a complaint against the Clinton Landfill with the Illinois Pollution Control Board. (WJBC file photo)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - Nine Central Illinois communities have filed a complaint with the Illinois Pollution Control Board against the Clinton Landfill.
That list includes Bloomington, Normal, Champaign and Urbana. The complaint claimed that a chemical waste unit is being unlawfully operated by Clinton Landfill. The complaint also said the company didn't get the local approval from the DeWitt County Board as required by the EPA for a new pollution control facility.
The move is in relation to the permit to bury controversial PCB waste at the landfill. The landfill owners have Illinois Environmental Protection Agency approval but is awaiting a permit from the U.S. EPA. Normal City Manager Mark Peterson said the communities found irregularities in the operation.
"Ultimately all of the parties of the coalition are objecting to the landfill and will continue to object to it as being totally inappropriate given the location of the landfill cell over the Mahomet Aquifer," Peterson said.
The local governments are concerned because the waste would sit over the Mahomet Aquifer, a water source for the communities which could leak in, contaminating the source. The irregularities were actually found by the citizen group Clinton WATCH.
"They're very aggressive and they've been very vigilant, if you will, in monitoring the activities of the landfill operator and monitoring the approval process, and I think they were initially the one that raised this particular concern," Peterson said.
In 1979 the U.S. EPA banned the manufacture of PCBs because of their harmful effects on the environment. Burying the waste would be at concentrations regulated by the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act.
The group is asking to go back through the approval process and Peterson said the communities will be an objector
"We're doing everything we can to stop this chemical waste facility from being operated," Peterson said.
On Monday, the Normal Town Council heard an update on the application to designate the aquifer as a sole water supply with the goal of getting it a protected status. The move wouldn't stop the landfill owners from getting a permit but does help the communities with their argument.
A message left with landfill operations hasn't been returned.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.