Renner: 'Dramatic Step Forward' With Mahomet Aquifer Fight

Published 08/14 2014 06:02PM

Updated 08/14 2014 06:38PM

BLOOMINGTON - Peoria Disposal Company will not be allowed to dispose of PCB waste in the Clinton Landfill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's denial of that permit comes as a relief for hundreds of thousands of Central Illinois residents who were concerned about their water source underneath the landfill, the Mahomet Aquifer.

Leaders at both Bloomington and Normal city halls are pretty excited about the news regarding the Mahomet Aquifer, but Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says they're not out of the woods, quite yet.

"Feel really good, I can tell you that. Sometimes, you don't always realize you're making progress, but on a day like this, you know you've made a dramatic step forward,” said Renner.

Last month, five local mayors asked Governor Pat Quinn to investigate the permitting process for Peoria Disposal Company.

Tari Renner, Bloomington mayor: "I have to say, he was very responsive, and obviously put a kibosh on this, and that's the reason why we've made the progress on this."

Then, the Illinois EPA denied the permit for the company to put PCB waste in the Clinton Landfill, which sits on top of the aquifer.

And with the state permit no longer in place, the US EPA won't even consider a permit for the company.

"You know, it's amazing what human beings can accomplish when no one worries about who gets credit,” said Quinn.

That aquifer provides drinking water for 80 communities and around 1 million people.

"This is a great victory for clean water and protecting everyone from any kind of danger in our water supply. We had to act and we did,” said Quinn.

Now, the landfill will likely appeal the decision to the Pollution Control Board, while also going back to DeWitt County to start the permitting process all over again.

Renner says he feels good about the work that's been done to take the process back to square one.

"I'm still pretty confident, but we're going to watch that process,” said Renner. “We're not going to let it surprise people like it did this time."

We reached out to Peoria Disposal Company, but they have not returned our calls for comment.

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