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January 16, 2014

ATTORNEY GENERAL APPEALS DECISION ALLOWING CHEMICAL WASTE DISPOSAL AT CLINTON LANDFILL

Springfield — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced she has appealed the Illinois Pollution Control Board’s (IPCB) order that permits a chemical waste landfill to operate on a site located above a major source of drinking water in DeWitt County.

Madigan’s appeal was filed this week with the Fourth District Appellate Court in Springfield. The Attorney General contends the IPCB erred in deciding not to review the failure of the landfill operator, Clinton Landfill Inc., to obtain local approval from the DeWitt County Board before constructing and operating a chemical waste landfill. In considering this issue, the IPCB concluded in its ruling that it was prohibited from reviewing Clinton Landfill Inc.’s plan to build and operate a chemical waste landfill on top of the Mahomet Aquifer without first obtaining local approval.

“The landfill sits atop an aquifer that is the source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of central Illinoisans,” said Madigan. “We’re asking the court to intervene in the interest of their health and safety.”

Clinton Landfill, Inc. originally obtained approval as a municipal solid waste landfill. Years later, and without further local approval from the DeWitt County Board, the landfill owners applied for and obtained a permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to build and operate a chemical waste landfill within the boundaries of the site previously approved for solid waste. The permit allows the company to proceed without local approval in spite of the significant risk to local residents’ drinking water if the chemical waste were to leak into the aquifer.

Area residents and local officials filed a complaint with the IPBC, citing the lack of local approval of the company’s modified plans for the site. Attorney General Madigan later intervened in the case in 2012 as a plaintiff. The local government plaintiffs have also filed a petition for review with the appellate court.

The appeal is being handled by Madigan’s Civil Appeals Division.

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