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There’s an important meeting on Sept. 17 in Danville, where I grew up spending many pleasant hours at the state park and on the Middle Fork River that runs through the park.

When the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act passed the Illinois General Assembly last May, I was relieved to know the toxic coal ash pits leaking into that river were going to come under legislative rule.

However, the legislation is not complete and people who care about the Middle Fork as well as other Illinois rivers being poisoned by coal ash need to come to this meeting and tell the Illinois EPA what is needed to ensure we have a powerful law that protects people, fish, wildlife, ecosystems and the health of the river in general.

Basically, we want to tell them that the law has to have some teeth in it, that removal of poisonous coal ash is far safer for all life concerned and more permanent than putting a cap on the pit, which is the preferred “cheap fix” of the power companies and which does not solve the problem.

Attendees can address the EPA with their suggestions for a strong law, ask questions or just show their support for coal ash removal by being there.

It’s at the Bremer Auditorium, Danville Area Community College, 2000 E. Main St., on Sept. 17.

Attend one of two sessions: 2 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. For more detailed information, go to