Environmental groups file complaint over coal ash

Associated Press Published: October 4, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) — Several environmental groups want the Illinois Pollution Control Board to order Midwest Generation to clean up groundwater pollution that allegedly leached from coal-ash ponds at four of the company's power plants.

The Environmental Integrity Project and the Environmental Law & Policy Center filed a legal complaint with the board Wednesday on behalf of several environmental groups, alleging that groundwater at the utility's Joliet, Pekin, Romeoville and Waukegan plants is contaminated with toxic pollutants — such as arsenic, boron and selenium — in levels that exceed state and federal standards.

The complaint asks the board to order the company to stop open dumping of coal ash at those plants and to clean up groundwater.

"Our water is a precious resource that must be protected ... Midwest Generation owes it to these communities to close and clean up their leaking ash ponds expeditiously," Traci Barkley, a water resources scientist at Prairie Rivers Network, said in a written statement. The Illinois group Citizens Against Ruining the Environment also is involved in the complaint.

Midwest Generation issued a statement, saying the complaint did not appear to raise new issues.

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