Settlement To Block Toxic Chemical Dumping

Clinton - A company that for years has planned to store toxic PCBs in a landfill sitting atop a central Illinois aquifer now says it's giving up on the idea as a legal settlement appears to have been reached.

Peoria-based Area Disposal had tried since 2007 to get state and federal permits to store PCBs at its Clinton Landfill. But an attorney for the company says it's "closing that chapter."

Last year, the state barred the dumping of PCBs in the Clinton Landfill, and a permit request was ignored by federal authorities.  Private citizens, lawmakers and cities like Decatur have been fighting dumping of toxic chemicals at the site.

“If you go forward with these lawsuits and lose, now you've got a toxic waste site that's federally permitted,” State Senator Chapin Rose, (R) Mahomet, told WAND State Capitol reporter Doug Wolfe.  “This would pull that federal permit forever.”  

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are chemical compounds once used in products such as paints and fluorescent lights. They were banned in 1979 after it was found they can cause cancer and damage to nervous and reproductive systems.

The DeWitt County Board will consider Thursday night a settlement with the company to restore roughly $1 million in payments made to the county by landfill owners.

(Content for this story provided by the Associated Press and WAND TV News Statehouse reporter Doug Wolfe.)

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