The Public Square

Mel Lacy on Ameren’s toxic waste in a Champaign residential neighborhood


Hello. My name is Mel Lacy and I am a resident of the 5th and Hill neighborhood in Champaign, where the Ameren toxic site is located.

I live right across the street from Amerens toxic site, and my wife and I are working with our fellow neighbors as part of the 5th and Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign. The 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign is organized by Champaign County Health Care Consumers, along with 5th & Hill residents. We are working to make sure the Ameren toxic site is cleaned up all the way and that the rights, and the health, of residents and former residents are protected.

I would like to invite everyone to a very special community meeting on Monday, October 4 at 6 p.m. at Provena Covenant Medical Center, to meet with expert environmental consultants who will talk about the 5th & Hill toxic site and the residents concerns.

The Campaign is fortunate to be working with the law firms of Kennedy & Madonna, and Weitz & Luxenberg, and their environmental engineers, Bob Bowcock and Mark Zeko to investigate the toxic site.

Both men have worked on some of our nations most tragic environmental disasters including the recent BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and we are glad to have them working for us.

Mr. Bowcock and Mr. Zeko have begun to conduct tests for toxic vapors in the homes of several neighborhood residents, including my own, to see if the contamination from the site could be spreading to homes, and posing a threat to residents who live in the neighborhood.

The results from their preliminary tests, including those from my own home, show that there is a reasonable concern that the toxic contamination can pose a threat to the health of neighborhood residents. The October 4 meeting is a special opportunity for residents and concerned community members to hear from these national experts about the 5th & Hill toxic site and what it means for groundwater in the area, and for the health and safety of residents.

The experts will discuss the research and testing they have already conducted in the neighborhood, what they are asking of the IL EPA on behalf of the residents, and their experiences working on other sites.

I encourage all neighborhood residents, as well as any concerned members of our community, wherever you live, to come out to get more information and ask questions.

Again, I invite you to join us on Monday, October 4 at 6 p.m. in Provena Hospitals first floor conference room to learn more about the 5th and Hill toxic site and what it means for our community.

For more information, call Champaign County Health Care Consumers at (217) 352-6533. Thank You.