Sunday, July 29, 2012
New Landfills Banned From Cook County
A battle over the expansion of a landfill on Chicago’s southeast side may be put to rest after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill banning new landfills in Cook County.
In 1984, the city of Chicago enacted a moratorium on creating new landfills or expanding existing ones. However, Land and Lakes Co. planned to annex a piece of the city into nearby Dolton, which does not have such a ban. The company planned to start dumping on the land to keep its site, called River Bend, from shutting down. Otherwise it's expected to reach capacity by 2014. But opponents of the expansion pushed for a countywide ban, which, with the governor’s signature, is now in effect.
Neighborhoods on the southeast side have dealt with high levels of pollution for decades. Chicago Democratic Sen. Donne Trotter noted the improvements that have been made in the area since local residents began organizing to clean up their community. “It is not going to go back to the way it was — not to when we were growing up 40 [or] 50 years ago, when seeing smoke and smelling garbage meant you were home."
Oak Park Democratic Sen. Don Harmon, a sponsor of the bill, said “Cook County is simply too dense to sustain any new landfill development, and the residual consequences of all the landfills we have are going to cause us problems for a long time.”
Land and Lakes did not respond to requests for a statement on the signing of the bill, but a statement released when the legislation passed addressed that last part: “The bill guarantees that a closed landfill in Chicago will remain a brownfield for generations to come."
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/quinn-signs-cook-county-landfill-ban.html
In the pic: Dolton's closed landfill.