State News
12:13 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Attorney: effort to block PCB’s brought on by politics

The site of a former auto shredder operated by Midwest Metallics in Summit, Illinois
The site of a former auto shredder operated by Midwest Metallics in Summit, Illinois
Credit Attorney Jeffrey Jeep
An attorney for the Chicago suburb hoping to place PCB's at the Clinton Landfill says efforts to stop them are based on "fear mongering.”  Summit is the site of a former auto shredder.

Environmental law attorney Jeffrey Jeep has spent a decade working with the Village of Summit, the site of a former auto shredder that contains PCB's.  The site operated by Midwest Metallics closed in the 1990's.

He said dust from the site collects on residents' cars and presents an “imminent threat”. But Jeep said that based on the judgment of engineers, the PCB’s are not hazardous waste. 

He contends the arguments made from mayors, state lawmakers, Governor Pat Quinn, and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are based solely on politics.

Jeep said storing PCB's in the Clinton Landfill will not endanger the Mahomet Aquifer, which is the main source of drinking water for 15 counties.  He issued an invitation to political leaders.

“Come to Summit and tell the people in Summit why a modern engineered landfill is inherently unsafe," he said.  "And it’s so unsafe that this pile of crap should stay in Summit.  Let them come to the people of Summit, look them in the eye, and tell them that.”

Last week, Governor Pat Quinn asked the DeWitt County Board to review its records. He said the board never gave Peoria Disposal Company permission to store PCB at the Clinton Landfill when it was first sited 12 years ago.

After Quinn's announcement, State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) stated it was unnecessary for the governor to seek out records, that the had the necessary information, and Quinn could revoke the permit for the siting PCB's now.

"I think it's good to have sound legal advice," Quinn said Friday, in a visit to the University of Illinois.  "And following administrative procedure under the law is the best way to go in order to protect our decision, and the decision of the DeWitt County Board."

But Jennifer Walling of the Illinois Environmental Council defends the governor's efforts, saying Quinn is just being careful.

“I know that the request for them to do something about this dated a while back, so they have taken their time – which tells me they have made a careful decision in getting involved in this issue," she said.  "I think that just speaks to the seriousness of the situation.”

Walling says officials in Summit should consider an alternative location.