News Local/State

Proposal Adds Precautions for MGB Waste at Clinton Landfill

Map of the Mahomet Aquifer

Map of the Mahomet Aquifer, the underground water source providing drinking water for much of central Illinois (Illinois State Water Survey)

14 local government agencies will decide over the next month whether to sign on to a proposed consent decree that would halt any efforts to force the Clinton Landfill to remove the 30,000 tons of manufactured gas plant waste that it currently stores. In return, the landfill would take additional measures to prevent the hazardous waste from leaking into the Mahomet Aquifer.

Kris Koester with the city of Champaign’s Public Works Department says going to court to try to force the Clinton Landfill to remove the MGP waste could pose legal difficulties, since the landfill obtained state EPA permits to accept it. And he says attempting to remove the waste could cause damage to the landfill. So, Koester says they’re ready to allow the waste to stay --- with addition protections against leakage.

 “They (the Clinton Landfill) agree to have appropriately licensed groundwater inspectors inspect the ground water at a minimum semi-annually for the life of the landfill,” said Koester. “And they also must provide at least 12 additional inches of cover over the MGP’s already stored there.”

The cover would consist of impermeable clay soils.

Also under the consent decree, the Clinton Landfill repeats the promise it made to the DeWitt County Board in April to stop accepting any additional manufactured gas plant waste, and give up efforts to get federal EPA permission to store PCB’s. That’s barred anyway, by a new state law  (HB 1326) signed by Governor Rauner last week.

To take effect, the consent decree must be approved by all parties. Those include Clinton Landfill, Inc (which is owned by Peoria-based PDC/Area Disposal Company), the Illinois Attorney General’s office, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the 14 local governments comprising the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition.

The Urbana City Council will take its first look at the decree at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, August 24th. It goes before the Champaign City Council on Tuesday, September 1st.

Other local governments in the Mahomet Aquifer Coaltion are the communities of Bloomington, Normal, Savoy, Decatur, Monticello, Tuscola and Forsyth; the counties of Champaign, Piatt, Mclean and Macon; and the Mahomet Valley Water Authority.