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City’s Last Landfill Closing

The city’s last landfill is slated to permanently close on December 31, and the Illinois EPA is holding a public hearing Wednesday on the permit governing closing and maintenance of Waste Management’s CID site at 134th near the Calumet River.

Local environmental activists want to see permit provisions concerning the landfill’s retention pond and water systems strengthened, reflecting fears that contaminated water could be leaking into groundwater or the river, said Alan Mammoser of the Southeast Environmental Task Force.

Waste Management stopped taking municipal waste in 2004 following City Council enactment of a landfill moratorium, later extended to a 20-year period. The company subsequently sought a deal to extend the landfill’s life for five years in exchange for promises to build a park on the site after it was closed. The proposal met opposition from local community, environmental and business groups, Ald. John Pope (10th ward) rejected it.

After decades as the city’s dumping ground, the Southeast Side is increasingly recognized for its rich environmental resources, including unique marshes, wetlands and prairies which host numerous rare species. The state and city are planning extensive wetlands restoration and brownfield development in the area, and a multimillion-dollar environmental center is planned for the Calumet open space reserve, near the Waste Management landfill.

The IEPA hearing takes place Wednesday, October 24, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Hegewisch Public Library, 3048 E. 130th Street.

For more: Alan Mammoser, Southeast Environmental Task Force, 773-646-0436

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Category: environment, Southeast Side

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