SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today released an additional $10 million in Illinois FIRST funds for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to continue a clean up of 33 abandoned landfills throughout the state.
In 1999, as part of Governor Ryan’s Illinois FIRST program, the General Assembly approved $50 million, to be allocated over five years, to address problems such as exposed refuse, odors, lack of access control, gas buildup, slope instability, surface erosion, leachate seeps, groundwater and surface water contamination.
In 1998, Illinois EPA identified 33 closed, orphaned landfill sites as having critical environmental problems that needed to be addressed. Prior to the Illinois FIRST funding, only $2 million per year was available through the state's cleanup program.
“Illinois FIRST has allowed us to correct these problems and prevent the environmental conditions at these landfills from worsening,” said Governor Ryan.
“This part of Governor Ryan’s Illinois FIRST program has benefited citizens in many parts of the state living near these facilities that were left in conditions that smelled and looked bad and threatened their neighboring environment,” added Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Renee Cipriano.
Of the landfills on the list of 33, five have been cleaned up using Illinois FIRST funds.
They are Carlinville in Macoupin County; Service Disposal and Western Lion in Coles County; Centralia Environmental Services, Inc. in Marion County, and Waste Hauling in Macon County. Paxton II in Chicago was completed through an additional appropriation since it was considered Illinois’ worst landfill.
Nearing completion are Bi-State in St. Clair County, Prior and Prior-Blackwell in Marion County, H & L in Vermilion County and Bath in Macon County. Construction at Paxton I in Cook County is underway. Construction is also underway, by the potentially responsible parties at the Rhodes Landfill and Wilmington Municipal.
The responsible party completed construction activities at two sites. Two landfills had covers previously completed and Illinois FIRST monies are being utilized for post-remedial activities. Planning or design is underway at ten of the remaining 15 landfills.