CLINTON — Officials with the Illinois Pollution Control Board have dismissed a lawsuit filed by a coalition including several area communities that claimed the owners of Clinton Landfill failed to complete all of the necessary steps before moving ahead with plans to store polychlorinated biphenyl waste at the landfill.
Peoria Landfill’s application to store PCBs there is awaiting final approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the board determined the issue is no longer a matter for it to consider.
“The (Illinois Pollution Control) board granted the dismissal of the lawsuit because the questions raised in the suit did not meet the necessary criteria or the board didn’t have the authority to rule on it,” said board spokesman Connie Newman.
The lawsuit claimed the landfill failed to obtain local authority from the DeWitt County Board before moving ahead with plans to store PCBs at the landfill, but the landfill operator disagrees. The DeWitt County Board in 2007 amended the landfill host agreement, opening the door for chemical waste storage, but the landfill operators contend the board no longer has the authority to prevent the permit, which now is up to the EPA.
The board agreed to forward the decision to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for informal investigation, but that agency already has signed off on the permit.
A group of Illinois communities, agencies and individual residents, including Bloomington, Normal, Decatur, Champaign, Urbana, and the Mahomet Valley Water Authority, filed the complaint in November 2012 arguing that a series of steps in choosing a location for a new pollution control facility was not completed.
The coalition is worried that chemical waste in landfills could leak and threaten drinking water for much of Central Illinois that comes from the Mahomet Aquifer.
The four-member board voted unanimously to dismiss the lawsuit.
Representative from the landfill operator could not be reached for comment Tuesday.