PEORIA, IL -- If you want to fight for cleaner air, here's an action you can take: show up on Wednesday, January 17 between 10 am and 5 pm at the Peoria Public Library's downtown branch, 107 NE Monroe, and sign up to submit a comment. The sign-up time ends at 5 pm but the comment period goes until 7 pm.
Or you can send a written comment to Marie.Tipsord@illinois.gov. She's the hearing officer of the Illinois Pollution Control Board.
A news conference held on Jan. 12 by the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance (CIHCA) relayed this information, and more.
Here are some of the participants in the news conference, above.
The issues according to CIHCA: The Texas-based corporation Dynegy owns the Edwards coal fired power plant near Bartonville in Peoria County. The plant is old and doesn't meet current emissions standards. It should be closed or upgraded, CIHCA says, but Dynegy doesn't want to do either.
Instead Dynegy has been meeting behind closed doors with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to continue to use it as it is now.
The Multi-Pollutant Standard, a safeguard that ensures cleaner air, is under attack, as Dynegy wants a rollback to avoid investing in the expensive clean air controls. It also wants a high flat annual pollution cap for its downstate power plants. In addition, it likely will seek a rate increase.
So, in a nutshell it wants to emit more pollution and likely charge higher rates for it, a triple whammy.
These are complicated issues, and the PCB has the final say. The Jan. 17 hearing will feature expert witnesses before the public comments, which begin at 4:30 pm and run until 7 pm.
At the news conference, Jade Allen, of ICC Student Association for the Environment called the old plants "dinosaurs." She accused the IEPA of rubber stamping what Dynegy wants. "The Illinois Pollution Control Board can stop it," she said.
Another news conference will be held at 9:15 am before the hearing begins.
-- Elaine Hopkins