Senate Approves Landfill Measure

In this June 20, 2012 file photo, construction is seen going on at the Clinton Landfill.

In this June 20, 2012 file photo, construction is seen going on at the Clinton Landfill near Clinton.

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

A bill restricting municipal landfills from taking in manufactured gas plant waste passed the Illinois Senate on a unanimous vote today.  The measure, which has already passed the House, is aimed at hazardous waste collected from environmental cleanup work done at the sites of old manufactured gas plants.

Senate co-sponsor Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), said the disposal of other hazardous materials, such as PCB’s, are carefully regulated by the U-S Environmental Protection Agency. But he says that’s not the case with waste from manufactured gas plant sites.

“There’s absolutely no protection anywhere, against dumping what are known as manufactured gas plant waste in landfills," he said.  "MGP wastes are extremely dangerous, very carcinogenetic. They leach into groundwater, you can drink them. Very, very harmful stuff, yet there’s no federal protections whatsoever.”

Under the measure, MGP waste would have to pass a toxicity test before it could go into a landfill that’s not equipped to take hazardous materials.

The legislation was inspired by efforts to keep another hazardous waste, PCB’s from going into the Clinton Landfill, which sits over the Mahomet Aquifer.

The landfill’s owners recently agreed not to take PCB’s --- and also to stop taking manufactured gas plant waste. But Rose and his fellow sponsors say they want the protections to go beyond one landfill.

The bill’s chief Senate sponsor, Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), said he might sponsor additional legislation to impose statewide landfill restrictions on PCB’s as well.

Story source: WILL