Local News

County Board Members Directly Questioned on Landfill Issue

The ongoing Chemical Waste permit application at Clinton Landfill was once again at the center of discussion Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board's regular monthly meeting.

 width=Resident Terry Hoffman spoke before the board, and asked some pointed questions of members who have continually refused to take a position either for or against the proposed dumping of higher concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, into the Clinton Landfill. Hoffman specifically questioned the board on the language of the most recent local siting hearing of the landfill, which was held in 2002.

[audio:072111landfill1.mp3] A Word From Hoffman [/audio]

Board member Denny Rich listed off the acceptable materials at the Clinton Landfill as set forth by the hearing, which did not include chemical waste.

[audio:072111landfill2.mp3]A Word From Rich[/audio]

County Land Use Chair Terry Ferguson acknowledged that the 2002 hearing did not specifically list chemical wastes.  However, he went on to say a recent conversation with top legal officials with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency seemed to conclude that the local siting of the landfill doesn't override state and federal agencies.

[audio:072111landfill3.mp3]A Word From Ferguson[/audio]

Hoffman went on to claim that several County Board members have told him that they are against the Chemical Waste Landfill, and none of the members named denied the claim.  Hoffman feels it's time for the majority to take a stand.

[audio:072111landfill4.mp3]A Word From Hoffman[/audio]

Despite repeated appeals from the public, the DeWitt County Board as a whole has not voiced an opinion either in favor or against the Chemical Waste permit.  A clause in a 2008 contract with the landfill states the board will remain neutral on the issue.  Representatives from Peoria Disposal, the landfill's owner, have threatened a breach of contract lawsuit should the county violate the clause.

The I-EPA has already approved the company's plans to institute a Chemical Waste operation.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to take public comment on the proposal through August 14th.  Citizen groups and governments from across central Illinois have voiced their opposition to the plan due the landfill's location over the Mahomet Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to nearly a million residents.

In other business Thursday night, the DeWitt County Board...
> voted 7 to 5 in favor of a proposal from Architectural Expressions for architect and engineering services on a proposed new county animal shelter.  The cost of the proposal is not to exceed 65-thousand dollars.

> unanimously approved a motion to increase county zoning fees as of September 1st.  The fee rates will be published.

> approved the county's new updated Emergency Operation Plan.

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