EPA looking into sludge dumping in Rantoul
Some residents in Rantoul are complaining about sludge being dumped in a farm field, but the source of the sludge said it's not part of the problem.
A spokesperson for Rantoul Foods said its plant gives sludge to John Clifford, a local farmer, who then spreads it on his field as a fertilizer. The company said that all the permits are in place for that but said that it doesn't have control over whether Clifford is dumping the sludge properly.
Either way, the practice hasn't set well with some local residents, who are complaining about the smell and health affects.
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Andrew Mason said the group is asking the plant for more information on the issue.
Mason couldn't comment on what penalties might be brought down by the EPA or whether the plant or the farmer is more at fault. Mason did say that the plant was given a violation related to sludge odor last year, but he said the company has taken steps to fix the problem.
Meanwhile, representatives for the the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the Champaign County Health Department said they are also aware of the issue. They said anyone affected by the sludge odor should call a doctor.
John Clifford could not be reached for comment.