CHICAGO, IL AND WASHINGTON, D.C. - October 4, 2012 (Investorideas.com renewable energy newswire) The Illinois Pollution Control Board was notified of a legal complaint filed today against Midwest Generation for violations of Illinois state solid waste and groundwater laws at four power-generating facilities in Illinois: the Joliet 29, Powerton, Waukegan and Will County Generating Stations.
The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) filed the complaint on behalf of the ELPC and Prairie Rivers Network. The Illinois-based Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (CARE) also joined the complaint. To see the legal filing, go here.
According to the complaint filed by the groups, leaking coal ash ponds at the Powerton Generating Station in Pekin, Illinois; the Waukegan Generating Station in Waukegan, Illinois, the Will County Generating Station in Romeoville, Illinois; and the Joliet 29 Generating Station in Joliet, Illinois are contaminating groundwater with toxic pollution in violation of state solid waste and water pollution control laws.
During the process of burning coal, Midwest Generation's coal-fired power plants generates coal ash pollution and other waste, which is dumped in large impoundments without adequate safeguards to prevent pollution from entering groundwater.
"Midwest Generation's own monitoring reports show that the coal ash dumps are leaking toxics such as arsenic, selenium, boron, and others into the groundwater at levels that exceed federal and state drinking water standards. EIP's investigation has documented hundreds of exceedances of federal and state drinking water standards." said Environmental Integrity Project Attorney Abel Russ.
"Improper management and disposal of coal ash has threatened clean water and healthy waterways now at four more sites in Illinois. Our water is a precious resource that must be protected from 'open dumping' of waste, prohibited by state and federal law," said PRN Water Resources Scientist Traci Barkley. "Midwest Generation owes it to these communities to close and clean up their leaking ash ponds expeditiously."
"Many of the CARE members, like myself, live within a couple miles of Edison International's Midwest Generation facilities. Not only are we breathing toxic air pollutants emitted by Midwest Generation but when we get a glass of water or take a shower we worry that it may contain poisonous chemicals like arsenic." said CARE Director Ellen Rendulich. "Midwest Generation must take responsibility to remediate the precious groundwater that they have contaminated."
ABOUT THE GROUPS
The Environmental Integrity Project (http://www.environmentalintegrity.org) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in March of 2002 by former EPA enforcement attorneys to advocate for effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP has three goals: 1) to provide objective analyses of how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution and affects public health; 2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with environmental laws; and 3) to help local communities obtain the protection of environmental laws.
ELPC (http://www.elpc.org) is the Midwest's leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. We lead strategic advocacy campaigns to protect natural resources and improve environmental quality. ELPC's staff uses legal, economic analysis, public policy advocacy and communications tools to achieve successes that advance environmental progress and economic growth together.
PRN (http://www.prairierivers.org) is Illinois' statewide leader in river protection, conservation, and restoration. Prairie Rivers Network works to protect Illinois' rivers for people, fish, and wildlife. Much of PRN's work focuses on how policies such as the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act are used in Illinoisólaws intended to protect our waters, our environment, and, ultimately, our health. PRN is the state affiliate of National Wildlife Federation.
CARE (http://www.willcountycare.org) is a Will County ALL volunteer grassroots 501(c)(3) organization established in 1995 to protect the health and environment through research & education.
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