Madigan appeals decision on Clinton landfill

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has appealed a decision not to move forward with a complaint against Clinton Landfill's operation of a chemical waste unit above the Mahomet Aquifer.

The ongoing dispute has been a large effort for local government officials, who contend that the landfill in DeWitt County poses a risk to the source of drinking water for as many as 750,000 residents in central Illinois.

Clinton Landfill officials have said the unit they built to bury the special waste is impenetrable and will safely hold those chemicals for hundreds of years.

In September, the Illinois Pollution Control Board dismissed local officials' complaint against the landfill. The government agencies argued that a permit to operate the chemical waste landfill was issued without a required review by the DeWitt County Board.

The pollution control board found that it is not the landfill's responsibility to seek that approval — rather, it is the Illinois EPA's responsibility to ensure that they did, according to the board's opinion. Therefore, regardless of whether that review was ever completed, the complaint against Clinton Landfill was dismissed because the Illinois EPA had already issued the permit.

Madigan is asking the Fourth District Appellate Court to review the pollution control board's ruling. Local officials from Champaign, Urbana, Savoy and Champaign County, among other central Illinois agencies, have also asked for an appellate court review.

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

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