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EPA Could Protect Mahomet Aquifer

Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 10:20 AM CDT
ILLINOIS -- It's a waiting game as elected representatives fight to protect the
Mahomet Aquifer from chemical contamination in the Clinton Landfill.

"The
US EPA has still not made its decision about the request to put PCBs
contaminated waste in the landfill, so we think it's important for the
public to continue to express their concern about that," Champaign
Assistant City Attorney Joe Hooker said.

Owners of the landfill
in Dewitt County want a permit from the US Environmental Protection
Agency to store toxic chemicals on site. Local and state government
agencies don't.

They say the former Dewitt County Board didn't
do critical things required to even make such a request from the
Illinois EPA. The public wasn't allowed to speak beforehand and facts
were hidden.

"We're also hoping the governor will actually
suspend the permit for the chemical waste unit under state regulation
until and unless they're unable to get that local siting review approval
from the DeWitt County Board," Hooker said.

Last year, the Dewitt County Board voted 7 to 5 in favor of a new hearing. Board Chair Sherrie Brown voted with the majority.

"We're
sitting over one of the biggest aquifers, the best aquifers. It's a
commodity, it's not just for drinking. It will affect our economic
development in this area," Brown said.

Brown says contamination
of the aquifer could affect generations of growth in Central Illinois.
This possibility leaves one local resident questioning the power of
corporations.

"We shouldn't be pointing fingers at one particular
county board or one particular government official, we should be
figuring out why don't our representatives have the information and the
resources that they need to fight a huge corporation," said Adani
Sanchez, a 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights volunteer.EPA Could Protect Mahomet Aquifer


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