Landfill owners plan to appeal Quinn's waste ban
CLINTON — The owners of Clinton Landfill said Friday that they have stopped accepting manufactured gas plant waste at their facility in DeWitt County, but will seek administrative review of Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision to ban certain kinds of waste from the landfill.
After much public pressure, Quinn at the end of July directed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to change the landfill’s permit to exclude certain kinds of garbage from the list of what Clinton Landfill may bury. Among those newly banned at the landfill are excavated soils containing polychlorinated biphenyls and byproducts left behind from now-defunct manufactured gas plants.
Those wastes contain carcinogenic chemicals, and the landfill sits above the Mahomet Aquifer, a massive underground reservoir that supplies drinking water for about 750,000 people across central Illinois. Landfill officials maintain that the waste unit they have built will safely hold the chemicals for 1,000 years or more.
Landfill officials are “disappointed that the IEPA has reversed its previously-issued positions and decisions on this matter which allowed for the disposal of TSCA-regulated PCB remediation wastes and MGP remediation wastes in the Chemical Waste Unit (CWU) located at the Clinton Landfill Facility (both of which wastes are regulated as nonhazardous special wastes under federal and state law),” according to a press release emailed to The News-Gazette by Peoria Disposal Company Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Coulter. “Nevertheless, CLI (Clinton Landfill, Inc.) will abide by Permit Modification No. 47 and cease accepting MGP remediation wastes for disposal in the Clinton Landfill CWU effective July 31, 2014, until all of the litigation is settled and resolved on this matter.”
The landfill will appeal the decision to the Illinois Pollution Control Board before Sept. 4, according to the press release.
Landfill officials further note in their statement that they still have not received federal EPA approval for polychlorinated biphenyl waste and that the chemical waste unit where the garbage is being buried goes beyond EPA standards.
“It is important for the public to know that the Clinton Landfill CWU has never accepted any TSCA-regulated PCB remediation waste for disposal, as it has not yet received a final approval to do so from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA),” according to the press release. “Furthermore, the Clinton Landfill CWU has accepted MGP remediation wastes from the cleanup of MGP sites located in the State of Illinois only, including one from a site located in downtown Clinton, Illinois, which is approximately two (2) miles from the Clinton Landfill Facility. The public can be assured that the Clinton Landfill CWU poses no risk to human health, safety and welfare, as the facility is conservatively designed and operated to far exceed USEPA and IEPA modern landfill standards.”