Environmental groups file complaint against Midwest Generation
From Staff Reports October 4, 2012 9:14AM
Environmental groups filed a legal complaint against Midwest Generation claiming violations of Illinois solid waste and groundwater laws at four power plants, including this one in Joliet on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. File photo | Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 6, 2012 6:21AM
CHICAGO — Environmental groups Thursday filed a legal complaint against Midwest Generation claiming violations of Illinois solid waste and groundwater laws at four power plants, including ones in Joliet and Romeoville.
The Illinois Pollution Control Board was notified of the complaint. The other Midwest Generation plants are in Pekin and Waukegan.
The Environmental Integrity Project and Environmental Law & Policy Center filed the complaint on behalf of the center and Prairie Rivers Network. Locally, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment joined the complaint.
According to the complaint, leaking coal ash ponds at the Powerton Generating Station in Pekin, the Waukegan Generating Station, Romeoville and Joliet are contaminating 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 Abel Russ, attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project.
“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,” CARE Director Ellen Rendulich said.∑
“We have not been served with the complaint, but from what we have seen, it raises nothing new,” a Midwest Generation spokeswoman said in a statement. “We will be prepared to defend our operations vigorously against parties who have long sought any avenue to try to close down coal-fired power plants.“