SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to deny a request to dispose of PCBs at the Clinton landfill in DeWitt County because it sits over the Mahomet Aquifer.
And Al Kurtz, the chairman of the Champaign County Board, says Quinn also should tell the Illinois EPA to withdraw the permit that allows Peoria Disposal Co. to operate the landfill, located about 40 miles west of Champaign.
"The Illinois EPA works for the governor," Kurtz said, "and if the governor wants to ask them to withdraw it, he certainly can make that recommendation. And I'm certain they will listen to the governor if he has the same request as he has for the U.S. EPA."
Quinn made his request public in a letter sent Thursday to federal EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
The governor said recent hearings on the federal EPA's sole source aquifer designation, including a crowded meeting in Champaign Tuesday night, "have brought forward significant scientific data that recognizes the value of the Mahomet Valley Aquifer, which supplies more than 100 million gallons of water daily to 15 Illinois counties, as a precious water resource for the Illinois residents in the area. The Clinton Landfill is located directly above the Mahomet Valley Aquifer."
The hearings "highlighted the significant risk of disposing of PCBs, a carcinogen, in the proposed landfill cell that could contaminate the aquifer and potentially impact 800,000 Illinois residents that depend on" the aquifer, Quinn said.
The federal EPA has been reviewing the Clinton landfill's application to dispose of PCBs at the landfill for more than a year.