News Local/State

DeWitt, Piatt County Voters Overwhelmingly Reject PCB’s In Aquifer

DeWitt County residents opposing the placing of PCB's over the Mahomet Aquifer.

A sign in DeWitt County protesting the placing of PCB's in Clinton Landfill. (Sean Powers/WILL)

Voters in two counties have overwhelmingly rejected efforts to place hazardous waste in the Clinton Landfill in an advisory referendum.

90-percent of DeWitt County voters said they were against disposing hazardous PCB waste in the landfill, over the Mahomet Aquifer.

The Illinois EPA recently chose to rescind the permit for PCB waste, a decision that’s being appealed by landfill owner Peoria Disposal.

Steve Bridges with the Aquifer’s Protection Alliance said this vote helps, as those owners will have to return to the DeWitt County Board for local siting.

"We've been working the farmer's markets, and even the (DeWitt County) Apple and Pork Festival," he said.  "And the response we were getting back from the public was overwhelmingly opposing this.  90-plus percent return is excellent."

Bridges says there was a mindset locally among some backing the measure that a chemical waste landfill would have meant more money for DeWitt County coffers, a concept he doesn't agree with.

The support was even greater in Piatt County - 94 percent. 

"I hope that if the permit for toxic waste is not permanently withdrawn, other counties will join in and voice their protest," said DeWitt County Board member Kathleen Piatt.

Bridges now hopes more of the 15 counties served by the Mahomet Aquifer - including Champaign - pass their own similar measures.