City to begin removing, plugging Boneyard pipe Friday

The city of Champaign on Friday will begin excavating a pipe near the Boneyard Creek that health care advocates allege is lined with coal tar residue that washes into the creek every time it rains.

The city repudiates the allegations, but they agreed anyway to remove a section of the pipe to avoid a lawsuit from Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

You might have seen my story about this very situation two months ago -- that story includes all the details.

The work begins tomorrow morning and will cost the city several thousand dollars. It's a victory for the health care group, but they say their work still is not done.

They allege that pipe, which supposedly empties into the Boneyard Creek roughly 100 yards north of the intersection of First and Washington streets, runs parallel to the railroad tracks all the way to the Ameren Illinois property at Fifth and Hill streets (the property which Ameren Illinois has been excavating to remove soil contamination).

The health care group says it is now Ameren Illinois' responsibility to respond to the allegations and remove the rest of the pipe, which they say is contaminating residents' private properties along its route.

Ameren Illinois has, of course, denied these allegations. Don't expect this battle to end anytime soon.

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