Senators get agreement on more aggressive oversight to protect local drinking water
SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Sens. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) and Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) today announced stepped-up oversight of the Clinton Landfill that sits atop the Mahomet Aquifer, which is the source of drinking water for over a half million people.
“Two weeks ago, during the state budget hearing for the Illinois EPA, I tore into the department about the lack of oversight at the Clinton Landfill and their proposed acceptance of PCB’s which could poison our drinking water,” Rose said.
“Water is one of our state’s most precious resources,” Frerichs said. “I take very seriously my responsibility to work for solutions that protect the quality of drinking water in the 52nd District.”
Apparently the senators’ harshness worked because in a follow-up meeting this week, the Director of IEPA agreed to the following independent oversight provisions:
Independently test and analyze ground water samples from the Clinton landfill’s monitoring wells and post the results to its Web site. Currently the landfill analyzes its own samples and then sends the results to the IEPA with no independent review;
Stepped-up, on-site inspections at the Clinton Landfill;
Assignment of senior, decision-level staff to a permanent working group with local advocacy groups to enhance and increase their oversight of this landfill.
The two senators stressed that this is the beginning of enhanced oversight efforts at the facility and expect that through the working group even more scrutiny of Peoria Disposal Company’s activities will occur.
“We all depend on environmental regulations to protect public health, and I’m grateful to Sen. Rose for helping me make sure government is playing an active role in overseeing activity at the Clinton Landfill,” Frerichs said. “I know we’ll both remain vigilant and continue monitoring the situation so 500,000 people know the water coming out of their faucets is clean and safe to drink.”
“I appreciate Sen. Frerichs’ help on this important issue. Moreover, I’m glad that the department will finally be doing its own analysis of the water samples. Letting PDC do its own monitoring was more than a conflict of interest – it was ‘the fox guarding the hen house.’ Together, Mike and I, are working to provide a heightened-level of scrutiny in Clinton,” concluded Rose.
The local stakeholders working group members will be announced shortly and meetings will be scheduled after that.