What Dynegy Is Proposing, and Why It Won't Work
Vermilion County residents, officials and local experts are taking issue with Dynegy's proposed closure plan. Dynegy's proposed fix would cap and leave the toxic coal ash in place, forever in the floodplain of the Middle Fork River.
Their plan includes capping the three pits with 2.5 inches of a geomembrane; 15 inches of a geocomposite; and 3 feet of soil, This is a short-term, cost-cutting solution for the company. It is one that will leave the liability for this dangerous site to future generations.
Dyngey’s proposed fix fails to acknowledge that:
(1) Seeps and pollution are already occurring. This is because there is contact between the unlined ponds and groundwater (which runs through and saturates the pits before connecting with water in the river).
(2) Flash floods and the strong erosional forces of the river will continue to erode the river bank, potentially destabilizing abutting pits.
(3) During flood events, the force of the river pushes water through the ground into the unlined pits. Then, the water slowly seeps back out with contaminants.
Dynegy needs to act responsibly and protect the Middle Fork from coal ash pollution. The Illinois EPA must require Dynegy to move the contaminated waste from its present location to a properly designed facility on-site, away from the river. Dynegy also should install modern pollution controls and monitoring. This is the only permanent solution that will ensure that area groundwater and surface waters will be protected from future contamination for generations to come.
What Can You Do?
One easy way to take action now is to send a letter to State Senator Scott Bennett, State Representative Chad Hays, Danville's Mayor Scott Eisenhauer, and County Board Chair Michael Marron. Ask them to ask Governor Rauner and the Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to tell the IEPA its time to require Dynegy to move its coal ash from the floodplain to a properly-designed facility on its property, away from the river. Then send the second letter to the Governor and Director of the IEPA. We've created a letter you can use or edit. Personalizing your letter will have the most impact.
Other states are requiring utility companies to relocate their ash, so why aren't we?