Rose Legislation Would Provide More Info About Landfills Located Above Aquifers
State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) is calling for additional safeguards to protect the state’s aquifers against contamination from landfills.
The 51st Senate District lawmaker says one of his concerns is the water testing that landfills located over aquifers are required to do, to ensure that there’s no contamination taking place.
Rose told about 70 people attending a community meeting on the Mahomet Aquifer in Champaign on Saturday that he doesn’t want the landfill operators to be the only ones doing the monitoring.
“These are licensed individuals that have professional degrees and certifications and everything else,” said Rose. “But there’s still that kind of fox-guarding-the-henhouse opportunity there.”
Rose’s legislation would require the state Environmental Protection Agency to also test the water at landfills like the Clinton Landfill in DeWitt County, that sit over federally designated sole-source aquifers, such as the Mahomet Aquifer, which underlies 15 east-central Illinois counties. He proposes that the testing be done at random times and locations, at least six times a year.
That measure is one of three water-safety bills that Rose says he’ll file on Monday. He also says he’ll be sponsoring a measure to require landfills that sit over aquifers like the Mahomet Aquifer to publish on their websites the manifests showing the amounts and types of waste they take in.
And Rose is calling for the state to create a complete inventory of all of its landfills, including so-called “city dumps” that existed in the days before modern landfill design. He says those facilities are “everywhere”, including one in his childhood home of Charleston.
“If you grew up in Charleston, Illinois, you just knew the town branch was sitting on the old city dump,” said Rose. “Well, the town branch flows into the Embarras River. No one knows what’s in the town branch. Now, there exists to the west of Charleston now, a modern-design facility for the acceptance of residential waste. But no one knows what’s in the old city one. And these are everywhere. “
Rose also encouraged local governments to work together to create a regional solid waste management plan. Noting the cooperation of governments in trying to keep hazardous waste out of the Clinton Landfill, the senator said those governments could work together to enact a common solid waste management policy, by taking advantage of existing state law. In doing so, Rose says they could gain “leverage” over any particular landfill or solid waste company doing business in their area.