The Middle Fork River running next to the coal ash ponds at the Vermilion Power Station

Darrell Hoemann/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

September 07, 2018

Loose Regulations Allow Coal Ash To Threaten River

Each year thousands of families boat down the Middle Fork branch of the Illinois Vermilion River below an embankment that holds back 3.3 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash sludge stored in three large ponds. Coal ash pollution is leaching into the river, and the riverbank is eroding under the ponds. We examine what's a stake in this investigative report.


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January 14, 2018

County Treasurer Responds To “Nasty Joe” Land Case In Urbana

​In 2017, residents of the Timberline Valley South subdivision in northwest Champaign subdivision were surprised to find out their common drainage ponds had been bought up at a tax auction by a Chicago-area firm that threatened them with trespassing. Now, the same firm, Nasty Joe’s LLC, has acquired land in Urbana, and is threatening residents there.


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