Toxic Coal Ash Pits Leaching Into Illinois' Only National Scenic River

"Seven years after Dynegy Inc. scrapped one of the last coal plants in downstate Illinois, environmental groups are accusing the company of failing to prevent toxic waste stored nearby from seeping into the state’s only National Scenic River.

Citing problems documented in the Houston-based company’s own internal reports, the nonprofit Prairie Rivers Network announced Wednesday that it plans to file suit, accusing Dynegy of repeatedly violating the federal Clean Water Act. The group said it decided to challenge the company on its own because federal and state regulators have failed to address well-known hazards at the shuttered plant near Oakwood, about 25 miles east of Urbana.

Pictures taken by the group show orange- and purple-hued muck leaching from the banks of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River as it meanders past the former Vermilion Power Station, a coal-fired facility built in the mid-1950s by Illinois Power and later purchased by Dynegy."

Michael Hawthorne reports for the Chicago Tribune January 31, 2018.

Source: Chicago Tribune, 02/01/2018