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Dynegy’s Coal Ash Threat Along the Middle Fork River

This short video was taken by Lan Richart of Eco-Justice Collaborative in April 2016 while kayaking past Dynegy’s three coal ash pits. All three are in the floodplain of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, Illinois’ only National Scenic River.

The Old North and Old East Ponds are unlined and leaking. The river banks abutting the pond are eroding, and gabions installed in 1981 to protect the coal ash pits are deteriorating – or gone. The river is moving closer to these pits each year, raising concerns over a potential breach.

The New East Pond is lined, but the extent of erosion that occurred in 2015 has required Dynegy to obtain approval for emergency streambank stabilization.  There are no plans to stabilize banks along the Old East and Old North Ponds, where steambank stabilization measures installed in 1981 have, in many places totally disintegrated and disappeared.

Dynegy closed the power plant in 2011.  The company is currently seeking approval from the IEPA for a plan that Dynegy says would address the leaching of toxic ash into the groundwater and adjacent river.  But their plan would leave all 3.3 million cubic yards of toxic waste in the floodplain, where it would continue to be subject to the erosional forces of the river.

Eco-Justice Collaborative is calling on the Illinois EPA and Governor Rauner to require Dynegy to move its coal ash out of the floodplain and place it on their property in properly-constructed, lined locations far from the river.

Send a letter to the Governor and IEPA now, adding your voice to those who are calling on Dynegy to do the right thing.

To learn more, visit:

Why the Middle Fork?
Dynegy’s Coal Ash Threat
Dynegy’s Proposed Fix 
Act Today
Campaign Resources


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