Middle Fork Information Meetings, December 9, 2021
As part of an interim order agreement with the Illinois Attorney General's Office, Dynegy / Vistra agreed to move its coal ash out of the floodplain of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion, Illinois' only National Scenic River. The ash has been stored in the floodplain of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion since the mid-1950’s and is currently leaking into the river and groundwater, and the meandering river is eroding its riverbanks, threatening a breach and potential coal ash spill.
Current plans show Dynegy would demolish their power plant, and move their coal ash from the floodplain to a new landfill to be constructed on the coal plant's footprint. This is what we’ve all been asking for!
As part of this order, Dynegy was asked to hold a public information meeting in December. The meeting is taking place:
Date: Thursday, December 9
Location: Palmer Arena, 100 W Main Street, Danville
Times: 3pm and 5:30pm
Click here to read Dynegy’s meeting notice. Eco-Justice Collaborative and Prairie Rivers Network are asking Dynegy to offer an opportunity to attend one or both meetings virtually.
Now is the time to make sure that protections are in place — from beginning to end —for the river, those who use it, workers, and those who live nearby are in place. Click here to let us know you are coming!
Here’s What to Expect
During Dynegy’s December 9 meeting, consultants will present plans and then ask for public comments or questions. While this meeting is NOT an official hearing with a subsequent comment period, it IS a good time to hear — and potentially influence — what is being proposed. Ideally, Dynegy will take public comments under consideration and revise their plans, if necessary, before they submit their application to the Illinois EPA. The Illinois EPA is expected to hold a public hearing and launch an official comment period sometime in February of 2022.
Briefing Meetings to Help You Prepare
You can review Dynegy’s plans here. As you will see, they have submitted a lot of information. To help us all prepare for Dynegy’s December 9 meeting, EJC and PRN will host two virtual meetings that will help “unpack” the numerous documents. These meetings will include slides and fact sheets for those who attend:
Friday, December 3, from 2pm to 3pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Monday, December 6, from 6pm to 7pm
Join Zoom Meeting
During these briefings, we will focus on areas that require more information; analyze alternatives; and identify where we think changes should be made to help improve what is being proposed. Information shared at each meeting will be identical.
Why Attend the December 9 Meeting?
We’ve had a MAJOR win that will result in the removal of toxic coal ash from the floodplain of the Middle Fork. As advocates for this National Scenic River, we all need to make certain that Dynegy:
- Responsibly demolishes the power plant and appropriately remediates the site.
- Designs the coal ash storage facility according to best practices, and has proposals in place for long-term monitoring and maintenance without cost to the taxpayer.
- Monitors and protects eroding riverbanks now and throughout the duration of the relocation process, to protect the river from a potential breach.
- Relocates the ash in a way that protects the river; those who use it; and nearby residents.
- Cleans up areas where coal ash seeps have ponded and contaminated the river bottom.
- Provides safe conditions for workers, maximizing protection from this toxic waste.
- Considers recycling, rather than landfilling all of the ash.
- And more.
REMEMBER — It was the relentless advocacy of the general pubic and groups like Eco-Justice Collaborative, Prairie Rivers Network, and Earthjustice that resulted in agreements forcing Dynegy to move its ash. Let’s work together, one more time, to make sure we get this right!