The Vermilion County Board is reaffirming its position attempting to protect the National Scenic Middle Fork River. The Board unanimously approved a resolution encouraging and requesting that any plan for the disposal of fly ash, particularly along and in water areas, be based upon the best scientific practices that will answer current and future citizen and business concerns for the vitality of the Middle Fork tourist area.
County Board member Kevin Green noted the Board approved a similar resolution in 2014 regarding the fly ash by-product of the former Dynegy Power Plant and sent it to federal authorities. But since the plant is now closed, guidelines on dealing with the fly ash are being developed and handled at the state level. ‘’Basically the concept right now is, does the state just allow Dynegy to put a cap over these ponds – which doesn’t stop the stream bank erosion or the infiltration of pesticides and chemicals into the river,’’ said Green, ‘’– or should they start all over again and build a site that is a safe storage site?’’
The resolution approved also seeks to address concerns of residents who live near the river in areas affected by the fly ash. It asks that any rules address the water safety needs of residents and asks that producers of fly ash bear the cost of removal or protection.