Friday, April 28, 2006

Keep Safe Waste Disposal in This Community

We are all creators of waste. Waste is created even in the materials we recycle such as the chemicals used to make paper reusable and the chemicals used to recycle metals. Ways have not yet been developed nor maybe never will be developed, to recycle all created wastes. Even compost and manure give off certain gases such as methane. Safe disposal landfills must be created to handle dangerous wastes that can be captured and stored forever. Much of the waste we create is hauled away in garbage trucks every day and the majority of this waste is disposed without treatment in the Peoria City/County Landfill near Edwards. Much waste becomes toxic if not properly treated and isolated from contact with the public. Peoria City/County Landfill (I am a member of the Peoria/City Landfill Committee) so I can speak with some experience on the disposals of wastes, handles mainly organic waste along with whatever else someone wants to dispose or hide in their garbage such as discarded medicines, arsenic, rat and mole poisons, pesticides, paint, lead, mercury, batteries, shoe polish, or other toxic materials that are not thoroughly inspected or treated before disposal.

For 27 years this community has been fortunate to have a company that accepts other wastes that cannot be disposed by law in regular polluted landfills, mainly solid metallic wastes. This company is Peoria Disposal Company who by law can only accept wastes that meets the standards of acceptance by not only Peoria Disposal Company but by all governmental environmental regulatory bodies. PDC has been a steward of the land for over 27 years in their solid wastage landfill off Rt. 8 near Pottstown. PDC, a local family owned and operated business has gone quietly about their business doing exactly what they are asking county board members to allow them to continue doing for the next 15 years. PDC has not been cited for any violations for the past 12 years. By contrast, the City/County Landfill which is no comparison to the clean PDC Landfill was just issued a warning for blowing paper. There is nothing blowing from PDC, the landfill is buffered by its own expanse of 300 acres. No methane gas, no sea gulls, no blowing paper. When the waste comes in by enclosed truck to PDC, it is tested to meet all Illinois Environmental Agency laws, treated, and where required, mixed with Portland cement, spread, compacted and eventually covered. Liquids that come from precipitation and drainage from the buried hazardous waste are siphoned off thru a series of internal piping called “leaching”, this water is treated and accepted by the Greater Peoria Sanitary District where it is again cleansed and channeled into the Illinois River.

That PDC does accept waste from others beside Caterpillar, Keystone, Ameren/Cilco and others is a tribute to the safety of this landfill now seeking to expand on existing landfill plus an additional 8 acres already owned by PDC. Many companies in the area ship other types of waste not accepted in Peoria County to landfills and incinerators in different states. Hospital waste is a good example.

When PDC submitted a request to expand their present 27 year old site, information was submitted to the public allowing public attendance and testimony. The County Board Chairman created a siting committee to listen to 6 days of testimony and cross-examination. Peoria County Staff and county screened and hired expert environmental engineers also listened to all testimony and submitted questions to our special hired outside attorney. After thorough examination, all Peoria County Staff and county hired engineers and outside attorney, agreed that PDC had met all nine criteria required to have the expansion sited. The recommendation to approve 15 more years of receiving, treating and burying of toxic waste came with approximately 30 additional “Special Criteria” including 3 more testing wells for water monitoring and millions of dollars set aside in a county controlled growing perpetual maintenance trust fund. Four of the seven of us on the siting committee agreed. We heard and/or read all the testimony submitted (2257 pages of testimony and cross-examination) submitted over a 6 day period. (This testimony is available for your review on or a synopsis on

Three county board members not on the siting committee also voted to accept the recommendations of Peoria County Staff and expert opinion. There was a question whether the head of the County Health Department who was part of staff making the recommendation that all criteria had been met, agreed. On April 27, I received an email from Ms. Parker stating “I too, after listening to the testimonies and reading the material, thought the expansion with the perpetual care fund would be a safe choice of the county.”

The testimony of Dr. Zwicky and Dr. Vidal was correct in that the materials accepted by PDC are toxic. That’s the reason they are treated to become hazardous waste, mixed with Portland cement, it is a finer grade, and buried to set forever in a relatively dry tomb. (Expert testimony states that after 8-10 years any liquids will have been “leachated” from the site.) In sworn testimony neither Dr. Zwicky nor Dr. Vidal had no knowledge of what PDC does or had ever visited the site.

PDC accepts tours by appointment. The property is strictly guarded to prevent any types of intrusion or vandalism

PDC has made every effort to be good stewards of hazardous waste. PDC has now agreed not to build on Disposal trench C-1 and leave it permanently covered. This means all expansion will take place 375 feet further away from any residential area and the new location will be barely visible if at all to the home owners in the area.

Passionate environmentalist Tom Edwards testified “No C/of/C would recommend businesses to move into this community.” On April 13, all board members received a letter from the Peoria Area Camber of Commerce, a company of the Heartland Partnership, stating “The Chamber of Commerce remains in favor of the expansion.” Most of the major leading economic development supporters, including The Heartland Partnership, the Economic Development Council, and the Greater Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce all have expressed their support of expansion. I have learned that the Civic Federation Executive Board has recommended to their membership that a yes vote would be best for the community.

There is a building fear in Peoria that over zealous though well meaning environmentalists will indeed drive reputable businesses out of the community and cause any company that produces toxic wastes from joining our business community. Homespun Tom Edwards appears to be looking for the national spotlight in his efforts to close down landfills. On April 13, 2006 speaking before the full County Board, Mr. Edwards said "I think (the no vote) was a historic decision and it is going to be nationally important." When asked what to do with wastes, Tom says "recycle". In a perfect workl]ld that might be done. Common sense says we will be seeking ways to recycle and dispose for decades.

Only two people from the Peoria City Council, one was Gary Sandberg, have spoken against the expansion. Neither one knew exactly how PDC handles and buries hazardous waste nor did they listen to any expert testimony. Mayor Ardis gave his early on support as did PPD Superintendent Bonnie Noble and board member Stan Budinzski who lives on the west side of peoria.

The poisonous atmosphere created in Peoria comes from the word “toxic” and water supply endangerment. The oppositions own expert testified under oath as follows: Question to Mr. Norris; “Now Mr. Norris, in Central Illinois where we have glacial tills overlying a shallow aquifer, would the Sankoty aquifer be reasonably described as such? Answer: As a shallow aquifer? Yes. Answer by Mr. Norris, Yes, I think so.” Mr. Norris continued “there are man made chemicals in the aquifer, we do not know of certainty where they came from.” It is through multiple layers of protection from this shallow aquifer that prompted expert testimony to believe that any wastes that could enter the water supply would be minor and spread over a large area.

The old barrels trenches are not part of this expansion nor is any expansion allowed over them. For the sake of this community, keep this family owned local, environmentally concerned company with their trained laboratory and disposal crews in this community in event of any unlikely (expert testimony) future problems and with enough money to take care of them without taxpayer involvement.

With the help of all county board members, staff, outside legal council county hired environmental engineering firm and the concerned citizens of the area, PDC has agreed to accept all roughly 30 “Special Criteria” added to their Siting Application including additional air and water monitoring, the right of the county to do our own testing, the right to approve or deny acceptance of different types of waste, the perpetual maintenance fund growing to($8,000,000,000.00 after 150 years, not being able to sell the business without county approval and not adding to the closed C-1 site.

This community should not want to drive this successful business out of our county over speculations and unfair comparisons to Love Canal, chemical landfills in New Jersey and some organic and chemical landfills Europe.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Those of you who email me or ask to be put on my links or send me letters that do not include your address and phone number on your email will not get a reply. To be added to my links you must submit complete background and your blogger identification. This is done for my own protection as there have been triple the number of attempts to infect my system since I started blogging on the landfill facts.

I would be pleased to add bloggers who blog with consistency to my links and I would like to be added to your sidebars.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Landfills: More Facts

Our household is one of the approximately 25% of households in Peoria County that does recycle paper, cans, bottles cardboard, ect. As an environmentalist, I supported the county board vote to not allow yard waste to be mixed with organic garbage in the Peoria City/County Landfill. The majority of us felt that yard waste should not be buried but stay on the surface and used to recycle in such ways as composting. Better Earth, a succeesful company here in Peoria County sells refined compost thru most of the compost outlets through out the area and even out of state and the many households that do composting, all offer proof of what can be accomplished thru re-use of disposables. You can also get compost from the City/County Landfill near Edwards,in larger bulk quantities at no charge. This material has not been, screened, weed seed is intermixed and no manure is used to make it the type of compost you want to enrich your soil. Call ahead for more information before going out to pick up.

This country made great strides in re-use of wastes and is making greater gains daily. However to believe that we are going to immediately find a use for all waste is unrealistic. In an ideal world we would change many things and environmentalists have in many cases helped in the progress.

At the C/C landfill the organic garbage buried is very volatile. It produces methane gas in quantities that has been profitably mined, but some gas unfortunately does escape into the air.. Mining is still being done at C/C but in recent years, the out of the area owned company(RTC) that has the mining contract with the C/C, went into bankruptcy causing innumerable problems. Dealing with a big city company and their lawyers and the bankruptcy court, have created a near stalemate. Expert testimony suggests that one day mining may take place at the PDC Landfill and the difference will be that PDC is a private enterprise and locally owned.

As a member of the City/County Landfill Committee, (located out near Edwards), I have more than a passing knowledge about the difference between the City/County owned organic landfill operated by Waste Management, and the PDC locally owned and operated solid hazardous waste landfill.

There is hardly any comparison between the C/C landfill and Peoria Disposal Landfill that PDC is currently seeking to expand. (Read my past blogs for the proper description of handling toxic waste at PDC before it is encased in Portland concrete and buried for the safety of all concerned.)

Expert testimony states that PDC hazardous waste gives off small amounts of emissions, far below Illinois Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Expert testimony says PDC legally emits few pounds of lead into the air per year and these few pounds are absorbed in the 300 acre expanse of the landfill. By comparison Keystone emitted 4600 pounds in 2003, still below legal limits. PDC emits no lead or mercury into any water stream as PDC does not accept mercury or arsenic waste.

I respect Dr. Sandra Steingraber when she says that mixtures of lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic can affect children’s development. However, she doesn’t state that PDC does not take mercury and arsenic and it buries the hazardous waste it receives after treatment in a safe disposal place. She also states that “since 1987 we’ve learned a lot about the ability of heavy metals to outlast liners designed to permit these kinds of things, and we no longer permit these kinds of sitings.” By insinuation, she links this “dry tomb” (expert testimony says it takes about 8-10 years for the buried material to turn into caked dry waste) to regular landfills which contradict common sense and expert testimony.

Her statement should also help answer the question of why PDC accepts wastes from other states. Over zealous environmentalists protest any new site in any state costing any private company more to open and maintain that there would be profit. Don’t expect other states local government to pay for new waste disposal sites when ones are already in existence.

Other toxic wastes created by companies and hospitals in Illinois, are exported to states that have hazardous waste landfills that do accept wastes that are not accepted by PDC. This information was omitted by the vote no environmentalists. Thank goodness the NIMBY group can’t stop interstate commerce. (Toxics flow thru Peoria every day in tankers or trucks heading for other states for treatment and safe burial, you just don’t notice them.)

Dr. Steingraber evidently has been led to believe that PDC is burying “toxic” waste above an aquiver. Expert testimony and the IEPA say that is not correct. Since Dr. Steingraber is from Pekin and came here to speak against the PDC application, surely she visited PDC to see EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING TO PROTECT THE LONG TERM HEALTH OF THIS COMMUNITY. I hear she did not and has never visited this PDC. In fact the only doctor that visited this site was Dr.Stephen Smart, who urged the County Board to make a good decision, not a popular one. Retired Dr. McLean, who urged the medical society to vote “no”, is the father of Kim Converse was strongly against expansion. Dr. McLean visited with the Sierra Club.

PDC has been asked how much they make in profits. They are a private company using market rates to allow them to make enough profit to maintain and close all landfills at that site by year 2024. Adding 15 more years of expansion and 15 more years of closure and maintenance keeps the Coulter Family as responsible guardians of this entire landfill thru 2054. The perpetual maintenance fund created and funded by PDC, will be held in a county irrevocable trust, forever.

Questions have been raised about the old closed barrel trenches. Expert testimony states that PDC was allowed by law in 1979 to start a hazrdous waste landfill. NO expansion is planned above the barrel trenches which were created before stringent IPEA laws were enacted. The opponents against expansion own hired expert, Charles Norris of Denver, said “perhaps the landfill expansion should be approved if the county required perpetual care for the site and the expansion fee assessments provide funds to clean up the old closed section of the facility.” That statement was based on his speculation that this barrel trench site may someday need to be “cleaned up”. If the expansion is approved, and PDC remains in the community, this trench remains their responsibility.

Dr. Norris said “any organic contaminants LIKELY are coming from the older closed section of the landfill and not from the operating landfill” where the new application would be located. Other expert testimony listed many places outside the landfill property including approximately 30 abandoned wells, pesticides and road way wash off such as salt that could be the source of contamination. (No opponent mentioned the abandoned ammunition dump not owned by PDC.)

Approximately 30 “Special Criteria” were added to PDC’s application by the siting committee, staff and from input by concerned environmentalists such as a greatly increased perpetual maintenance fund, air monitoring, ect. (See my blog title “Nine Criteria”, ect., published on 4/12/06).

As a “yes” voter, I see the County Board has only two practical choices. One is to continue to vote no and have PDC close the landfill in 2009 leaving NO perpetual maintenance fund, in fact the county would lose all the “Special Criteria” agreed upon by PDC counsel according to county staff. PDC has said they would appeal a no vote and if they win before the State Pollution Board; the county again loses all 30 special criteria including millions of dollars in the perpetual maintenance fund and the county would not have the right to stop them from selling to anyone. You do not want one major company to monopolize all the waste handling in this community. The responsible leadership of this community does not want to see PDC leave. Think about it.

PDC is a family run local business. They cannot sell without county board approval under the added “Special Criteria”. PDC has an outstanding record and expert testimony supports all nine criteria they have to meet to expand the facility. The “yes” voters believe they have met the criteria. And 30 more special criteria have been added and, according to county staff, have been approved by PDC.

A yes vote is not an easy vote to make. I am not afraid to make this hard “yes” vote when I believe it is in the best interests of all of the community.

Since I blogged last I understand that PDC has agree not to expand over trench C-1. If so, the site would be further away from residences (375 yards) and the expansion, I am told by staff, would be far less noticeable, if at all, to people living in that area.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Politically Correct

When I started this blog site in August of 2004, I told the reader this was not going to be a “politically correct” blog site. Just the facts. When I have blogged and was “proven” wrong, I issued corrections. Where I have blogged what was in my mind at the time, and thought better of later, I apologized to those offended. When I issued a blog I thought would be better off removed, I removed it. I have done that twice out of 240ish blogs. It is my blog site.

“Anyone who writes on a sensitive topic is bound to face criticism. This is unfortunate, because we need to be able to discuss important issues in a calm and rational manner. The path forward is that after the initial furor dies down, serious people can look at it, and agree to disagree.” (Stephen Walt, Academic Dean, John R. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)

The PDC Application was not discussed in a calm and rational manner. The radical environmentalists poisoned the air from the beginning. Note that the description “toxic, cancer, air pollution and mercury” were consistently used by the RE’s to panic the public. When it was proven by expert testimony that most waste materials remain toxic ONLY if it is improperly treated and handled, the RE’s changed their signs to “hazardous waste”. They backed off mercury contamination from PDC when mercury was proven not to be accepted at PDC.

Now the Sierra Club claims that 6 power plants along the Illinois River “emit 1500 pounds of mercury annually”. The Sierra Club conducted testing on the hair of Peoria adults and children to determine the level of mercury contamination but couldn’t find any test of people that exceeded health mercury limits. It is also stated by other environmentalists that the mercury in the air and water could be from global emissions primarily from Asia.

I stand by my vote and have the facts to back it up. The reasons some voted “no” is purely speculative on my part. However, I believe it is not fair to sit as judge and jury and not be present to hear the facts. The summation of all testimony was not presented to the full board until April 13, one full week after the vote to deny. Many board members claim they do not use the computer making it questionable if they read the testimony on the counties web site, many didn’t attend the siting hearings, one member of the siting committee attended only half the meetings and FOUR of the SEVEN members of the siting committee, who heard all the testimony voted “yes” to accept the finding of staff who did sit thru all the siting meeting along with expert input from Patrick Environmental Engineering.

The siting committee, made up of seven board members, did not get an opportunity to present our findings to full board. Why did at least six of us sit thru 6 days of testimony and cross-examination if not allowed to present our findings to the full board most of who did NOT sit thru the siting process? That the hazardous waste was solid and concretized by Portland cement before it was put in the landfill was known to any board member who would have asked PDC or even visited the site. That the hazardous waste was quite dry after 8-10 years of containment and would stay in that for millenniums was the opinion of those qualified to make an opinion. The poisonous nature of the diatribe against the Coulter family who have successfully maintained and protected the community for the past 27 years at this site makes me sad. Did I make the best decision for the health benefits of the community now and in the future? The answer is yes and I will vote yes again on May 3..

Was the testimony of the doctors credible? No, read the testimony. Are the toxic wastes brought to the landfill, treated and buried to a form of hazardous waste? Yes, of course, that’s why it is approved and licensed by the State of Illinois as a Hazardous Waste Landfill. Is there a proven need for this waste to be buried or dumped somewhere? Should this waste be buried rather than exposed? Of course. Should we recycle more? Of course and many do recycle and more will in the future. Is it possible some of this “caked waste” will be recycled some day? That is a far more plausible possibility given by expert testimony. Will any haz waste ever get in any water supply in greater quantities than the pesticides and toxins now put on the land, throw into ravines or flushed down our stools into our water systems? Yes, that water does wind up in the Illinois River which is a major source of the water we drink. Is this treated water polluted when you drink it? Can you prove it? If it’s still polluted when we drink it, why are still alive?

Are I and other “yes” voters alone? No, most of the community’s knowledgeable leaders silently and many openly support our “yes” vote. The uninformed leaders (of which I have often said we have a fair number in this community), rise in anger to oppose what is the best of all options considering the 27 years of successful operation of a safe disposal. Were opinions and votes based on false comparisons to Love Canal or failure to educate themselves, NIMBY or a basket of other reasons?

We thank the letter received today from the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce supporting our “yes” vote and asking us to continue to get the facts out.

And, yes Molly, I did issue an apology of which you have a copy, an apology for “speculating”. And yes, it is my blog site and I can take it down anytime I feel it is everybody’s best interests.

There is an old saying expressed to me on more than one occasion; “If the shoe fits, wear it”. The phrase may have different interpretations, I’m just repeating it as I heard it said to me.

I will continue to put the facts on this site as long as I have the energy, the ability and interest to do so.

Happy Easter to all.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dr. Zwicky's Direct Testimony Under Oath to the Peoria County board Siting Committee on 2/006 at the Public Hearing at the ITOO Hall

At this time, Mr. Wentworth, does the group
that you represent have any other witnesses to present?

MR. WENTWORTH: Yes, Mr. Brown. Thank you. We have two more, the first being Dr. Gary Zwicky.


After being first duly sworn, upon his oath, testified as
follows in response to --


Q. Doctor, we have passed around your CV or your resume.
Could you briefly describe your education and training, what your current position is?

MR. BROWN: Excuse me. Before he does that, could you please state your name and spell
your last name?

A. Gary Zwicky, Z-W-I-C-K-Y. I am a physician in Peoria, a life-long resident in Peoria County,
second generation resident. did my medical or my undergraduate training at Tulane University in New Orleans. I did my medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I did a radiology residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago. And I have been in practice as a diagnostic radiologist at St. Francis for the last 17 years. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak today. I speak as a practicing physician in this area and President of the medical staff of OSF St. Francis. I represent over 750 doctors in and around the Peoria area. And these are the very same doctors who may be called upon to diagnose and treat sequela in the event of any loss of containment of known carcinogens and neurotoxic heavy metal compounds, including lead, mercury and chromium, that are deposited at the PDC facility. I would like to read my letter that I submitted to the Board. This was titled Peoria Physicians Speak. There are few opportunities for physicians in this community to speak with one voice on an issue which potentially affects the health of our entire community. In the eyes of physicians in and around Peoria, the proposed expansion of the hazardous waste facility owned and operated by PDC represents a significant threat to all of us who live and work in Peoria County. Over the course of the last week -- and this was three weeks ago -- the Medical Executive Committees of all three Peoria hospitals representing over 750 doctors have voted to speak with the united voice to oppose the proposed expansion of this toxic waste disposal facility. Physicians in this community are alarmed about the potential short and long-term health consequences that this facility poses to the population of Peoria County. Our concerns specifically relate to the proximity of the dump to a major metropolitan area as well as its siting over the Sankoty aquifer from which we draw much of our drinking water. Specifically we fear leakage of heavy metal compounds such as lead and mercury, which are known to be neurotoxins. The physicians of Peoria County urge the Peoria County Board to deny the permit for expansion of the PDC facility. This letter was signed by myself as President of the Medical Staff at St. Francis, Dr. Parker McCrea, President of the Medical Staff at Proctor Hospital, and Dr. Steven Smith, President of the Medical Staff at Methodist Medical Center. Thank you.

Q. Doctor, are you expressing any opinion on any potential exposure pathways that are currently or in the future may emanate from the site?
A. We are most specifically concerned about heavy metal leakage from the containment.
Q. But you don't know how things are getting off the site or if they ever will get off the site, correct?
A. I don't know that.
Q. You are not a geologist or a hydrologist, an engineer, a landfill design developer, is that correct?
A. That's safe to say.
Q. Have you ever been there before to the site?
A. I have driven by it. I have not been through it.
Q. Have you read any substantial part of the Application?
A. No.

MR. WENTWORTH: Thank you.

MR. BROWN: Is there any cross-examination of this witness?

MR. MEGINNES: Yes. But first I would like to object. I don't think he's been qualified as an expert to give any expert testimony. Through the line of questions he just said he hadn't read the Application, he didn't know any pathways of exposure. I mean, he's not qualified as an expert, and I would submit his testimony should simply be included in the public comment portion of this hearing.

MR. BROWN: Unless I missed something, I am not sure that he gave an opinion. I think he just said that there were some concerns, and I guess that was his statement. So to the extent your objection is that he drew any conclusions or opinions, I am not sure that that -- there is any need to rule on that objection.

MR. MEGINNES: Okay. I would like to ask a few questions.

Q. First of all, did you spend some time and actually read this Application?
A. I did not.
Q. Have you attended the hearings since last Tuesday to try to gather some information about the
A. I have read what has been going on in the newspaper and I was here for an hour before this started.
Q. So you read the couple of articles that have been in the Journal Star?
A. Well, I think it's more than a couple over the last few months, but yes.
Q. Have you done any type of a study of the regional geology of the area?
A. I think I have answered that question. No.
Q. Have you studied the hydrogeology of this area?
A. No.
Q. Have you looked at any boring logs that were submitted as part of the record?
A. No.
Q. Have you looked at any of the test status, slug tests, or any of the other information included in the appendix to the Application?
A. I have looked at a list of some -- many of the compounds on the site.
Q. What were they?
A. You expect me to name all of the compounds on your site?
Q. Name what you can remember.
A. Lead, mercury, chromium, volatile compounds.
Q. I am kind of curious, where did you think that you read that there was mercury taken at the facility?
A. I believe it's in the EPA report.
Q. Actually, if you would have attended the hearing, it's been testified to there has been -- no mercury has been accepted at the facility. Would that change the letter you read if you would have known that?
A. No.
Q. Now --
A. That's one neurotoxin.
Q. I am kind of curious, did you ask -- first of all, did you take a tour of the site?
A. I did not.
Q. Did you ask Peoria Disposal Company for the opportunity to go out and visit the site?
A. I did not.
Q. Did you ask any representatives of PDC to come and speak to the OSF medical committee before you had your vote?
A. No, I did not. And I didn't ask anyone to speak in opposition to it either. People came to me. And your company could have come to us and asked for that same opportunity.
Q. Who came to you?
A. Dr. John McLean told me about this problem. And we had some discussions in the Community Wide Medical Leaders conference that occurs quarterly. And then Dr. McLean presented in front of our Executive Committee and in front of our whole medical staff.
Q. Was there anyone else other than Dr. McLean that brought this matter to your attention?
A. No.
Q. After he -- what did he do, call you up on the phone, or see you at the hospital?
A. I saw him in the hallway at the hospital.
Q. What did he say?
A. He told me he was concerned about this issue. And I told him I had an Executive Committee
meeting going on that night and he could feel free to present if he so chose. And he did.
Q. So who attended that meeting that evening?
A. The Executive Committee meeting is attended by department chairs in all of the departments at St. Francis. So there is approximately 20 of those, and then plus administrators.
Q. So how many people attended the meeting that night?
A. Probably 25 to 28.
Q. Was a general notice given to the other physicians in the hospital that are part of the medical staff that you were going to actually talk about the PDC landfill Application that night at the meeting?
A. It had already been presented to the whole medical staff at our lunch meeting, our quarterly
lunch meeting.
Q. Let's back up. I thought you told me you ran into Dr. McLean in the hallway at the hospital and he brought it to your attention and you told him he could come that night to the Executive Committee and make a presentation?
A. I met him in the hallway before the lunch meeting, not the executive meeting.
Q. You met him in the hallway before the lunch meeting. Did he come to the lunch meeting then?
A. Yes.
Q. So he made a presentation -- what was the lunch meeting of?
A. The general medical staff of St. Francis.
Q. And at that meeting then was there any type of a vote taken?
A. There was no vote taken.
Q. And then when was it taken before the Executive Committee?
A. It was taken before the Executive Committee the first week in February.
Q. So when was -- when did you have the lunch meeting when Dr. John McLean made the presentation?
A. I would have to look at my notes to see that date.
Q. Why don't you do that?
A. The date of the lunch meeting of the entire medical staff was 1/11/06.
Q. So how long was the presentation that Dr. McLean made at the luncheon meeting?
A. Very short.
Q. How long?
A. Probably a five minute presentation, with time for some questions.
Q. Can you recall what he said during his five minutes of testimony?
A. He talked about the existence of a hazardous waste disposal facility in Peoria, that they were applying for expansion and to raise the height of the existing facility. And many of the people were shocked to hear of the existence of such an entity.
Q. Did he have a handout or hand out any material to the physicians of that meeting?
A. I don't recall if he did at that meeting or not. You could ask him.
Q. Did he share with the doctors at that luncheon that his daughter was leading the opposition to the expansion of the landfill?
A. Not that I am aware of.
Q. So after the meeting -- now, when did it come up in front of the Executive Committee?
A. 2/7/06.
Q. So after the initial presentation by Dr. McLean on January 11, did you try to gather some additional information about the Application to kind of better educate yourself about the siting Application?
A. I had been following the reports in the paper.
Q. Did you do anything else other than follow the reports in the paper?
A. Personally, no.
Q. Did anybody else that you are aware of at OSF?
A. I couldn't answer that question.
Q. So you didn't do anything from January 11 until February 7 to better prepare for your presentation to the Executive Committee?
A. I didn't present to the Executive Committee.
Q. So how was this matter handled before the Executive Committee?
A. Dr. McLean presented.
Q. He came again to the Executive Committee and made a similar presentation?
A. Yes.
Q. About how long did that presentation last?
A. I wasn't at the meeting. I was out of town.
Q. Did you talk to anybody that actually was present at the meeting?
A. Yes.
Q. Did they tell you how long the presentation lasted?
A. No, they didn't.
Q. Do you know what the vote was at the meeting?
A. I don't know what the vote was.
Q. Do you know if it was even voted on?
A. It may have been a consensus.
Q. So there may not have even have been a vote taken?
A. That's possible.
Q. Did you get any handout, or was there any handout materials circulated at that meeting that you are aware of?
A. Not that I am aware of.
Q. How many physicians normally attend the Executive Committee meetings?
A. Probably around 20.
Q. 20. You know, I know a little bit about Medical Executive Committees, having worked in the healthcare area, and it seems rather unusual for a Medical Executive Committee to delve into matters not having to do with the hospital. Don't you find this a little unusual?
A. Not at all. It's a matter to do with health.
Q. Have you taken other public issues with respect to health to the Executive Committee?
A. Yes. TB testing for the community, vaccines for flu for children.
Q. Have you taken a position on the bird flu epidemic in the world?
A. We have not taken a position, but we have participated -- the hospital has participated in disaster drills for such.
Q. I am just surprised that at any of your discussions with the physicians, you are talking with people in the hall, no one asked to hear the other side of the story.
A. No one asked me.
Q. Do you remember talking -- did you talk to anybody else about this other than Dr. McLean?
A. I probably did, but I can't give you names.
Q. Well, do you think it was more than two?
A. Sure.
Q. More than five?
A. Dr. Vidas is here. I spoke with him.
Q. More than five?
A. Yes.
Q. Now, I believe that you were asked by your attorney about what pathways of exposure you were particularly concerned about. Do you recall that question?
A. Yes.
Q. And what pathways are you concerned about?
A. Groundwater contamination through leachate.
Q. Is there any other pathways you are concerned about?
A. Well, that's the one we are mainly concerned about.
Q. Your concern is based upon your brief conversations with Dr. McLean and what you read in
the Peoria Journal Star?
A. My concerns are based on my training also of neurotoxicity of heavy metal compounds.
Q. But you really haven't taken the time to study the Application or come to this hearing to really find out much about the facility, have you?
A. To the depth you have, no.
Q. Would it change your opinion if you had heard an expert hydrogeologist state that after 500 years, the groundwater at the compliance boundary of the facility, the only contamination would be that the water would be slightly salty?
A. I guess I would have trouble understanding how a hydrologist could predict 500 years in the
Q. But assuming he had that expert within --
A. I am not willing to assume that.
Q. You are not willing to assume that, even though if you had been here you would have heard
somebody testify to that effect?
A. I may have heard it, yes.
Q. And what do you have to rely on to question that expert's opinion other than what you read in
the Peoria Journal Star and your brief conversation with Dr. McLean?
A. Do you want to restate that question?
Q. I said, what are you relying upon to question that expert's opinion other than your brief conversations with Dr. McLean and the reading of the articles in the Peoria Journal Star?
A. I am not questioning any expert's opinion. I wasn't here to hear the testimony.
Q. Okay. Looking quickly at your resume, now, are you a radiologist?
A. Correct.
Q. I gather that you read -- what do you do as a radiologist at the hospital?
A. I read body and musculoskeletal magnetic resonance imaging and computer tomography.
Q. You use those readings to make diagnoses of patients?
A. To diagnose cancer, musculoskeletal ailments, neural diseases, those things.
Q. When you diagnose a patient, I gather you try to gather as much information as you can about
the patient before you make a diagnosis?
A. I do.
Q. That includes, what, reading the x-rays, for example, or the readouts of the MRIs?
A. Well, it includes reading the patient's history, knowing why the exam was ordered.
Q. What else do you rely upon?
A. My medical knowledge and training and experience.
Q. Well, I guess to kind of put this in laymen's terms, it seems to me you made a diagnosis on the PDC landfill expansion without even making an attempt to gather any information whatsoever about the facility. I am kind of surprised that you would do that as a physician.
A. I'll tell you, I am a little surprised too that somebody can propose that a plastic liner lasts for a thousand years.
Q. Well, how would you know about that? You don't know anything about it.
A. Well, I'll tell you what, everyday experience of everybody in this room with conventional plastics says otherwise; that they become brittle and they break over time.
Q. So just your everyday experience makes you an expert on HDPE landfill liners, is that correct?
A. No. But we are experts in scientific methodology, in studying problems. And hypotheses are put forward and then you prove or disprove the hypothesis. In the case of the plastic liner, your
hypothesis is that this is going to last for a thousand years. How can you prove it?
Q. We heard probably the United States' best expert on this testify, and he actually gave a very
detail explanation on that was his personal opinion. I don't think we have any more questions for
this person.

Q. Dr. Zwicky, we heard earlier today, and I think you might have been in the hall when one of the witnesses said that heavy metals at any kind of concentration pose a health threat. Would you agree with that statement?
A. I couldn't give you a specific concentration.
Q. Would you agree with that statement at any concentration?
A. I don't have an opinion on that.
MR. BROWN: Any questions from the Subcommittee?

Q. Dr. Zwicky, is there any studies being done, been done to your knowledge, of this area in relationship to what you are testifying against?
A. The only study I am aware of is from the American Cancer Society with data through 2004 that
states that Peoria County has a significantly higher than average risk of cancer compared to other counties in the state.
Q. But is that specific to what is going on at PDC landfill? Is there any knowledge there that they are causing the problem?
A. No. There is no way that you could connect those directly.

MR. BAIETTO: Thank you.
MR. BROWN: Mr. Wentworth, do you have any redirect?
MR. WENTWORTH: Nothing further.
MR. BROWN: Okay. Dr. Zwicky, thank you. You are dismissed.

Reprint of a "Letter to the "Editors of the Peoria Journal Star" 4/5/06

“Emotions Clouds Landfill Decision” by Dr. Stephen J. Smart is reprinted here with the permission of Dr. Smart. The letter reads as follows “When we initially became aware of the Peoria Disposal Company Landfill expansion, we were concerned but knew few of the facts. However, after my wife and I spent two hours at the landfill meeting with PDC and touring the facility, we are very comfortable with their proposal.

Between us, we have two chemical engineering degrees, an MD and an MBA, helping us to appreciate the technical issues, the health risks and implications for area businesses.

Moreover, we are building a house about two miles from the landfill and will be living on well water. Thus we have a stake in clean water.

That said, there are important facts for everyone to know regarding this facility. The “hazardous” part of the waste is all metal, largely zinc. This facility cannot accept other forms of hazardous materials. Waste is first chemically treated with Portland cement and fly ash. This immobilizes metal so that it will not leach into the ground.

The end product is safer than what the EPA allows to be dumped into regular municipal; landfills. Once treated, the waste is further confined in a system of liners and compressed clay, along with other safety features.

Those who vocally oppose the landfill are we meaning,, but many of their decisions seem based on emotion more than fact. Other may simply err on the side of caution.

Let’s urge the Peoria County Board to make a good decision, rather than a popular one.

Dr. Stephen Smart
Allergy & Asthma of Illinois, SC
Peoria, Illinois

Soon, I will print on this site the entire testimony and cross-examination by both attorneys for PDC and the opponents of Dr. Gary Zwicky, expert witness for the Families against Toxic Waste. It is my understanding that Dr. Smart was the only doctor who took time to visit PDC and accept their offers of public tours.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Vote to Deny Staff's Recommendations on 4/6/06

The 10 voters who voted to not accept the recommendations of the Peoria County Staff and its outside engineers had every right to vote yea or nay. I had the right to critique the no vote but no right to speculate on why board members voted and certainly no right to bring any personal feelings I evidently had that evening and especially for putting it on my blog site. I apologize to all that I offended.

We have been a pretty cohesive board up until this very divisive issue. All board members are good people and all have served the community in many different ways.

I ask the no voters to continue to study the evidence and the expert testimony and may this board make the best of a very uncomfortable situation for all concerned including the applicant.

I will continue to gather and put more facts on my blog site. I regret my unfair speculation and undignified finish to a very emotional evening.

My concern about the health of this community is no less than any who showed their concern in many ways. My efforts have always been to sort out the facts on any issue I have approached in my five year term on the county board.

For those who have speculated with the truth or made outright claims without evidence, I have no apology. But even for all those who have participated in this democratic process, I say thanks. I again remind my colleagues that the decision we make on May 3 must be made on as much factual information as possible.

Nine Criteria For Siting Approval of the PDC Application for Local Siting

The Peoria County Board must determine the Peoria Disposal Company siting application meets nine (9) criteria by state statues in order to grant siting approval. The nine (9) criteria are ass follows:

1. Need: The facility is necessary to accommodate the waste needs of the area it is intended to serve.
2. Protect Public Health: The facility is so designed, located and proposed to be operated that the public health, safety and welfare will be protected.
3. Compatibility: The facility is so located as to minimize incompatibility with the character of the surrounding area and to minimize the effect on the value of surrounding property.
4. Floodplain: For a facility that is a sanitary landfill or waste disposal site, the facility is located outside the boundary of a 100-year flood plain.
5. Minimize danger: The plan of operation of the facility is designed to minimize the danger to the surrounding area from fire, spills and other operational accidents.
6. Traffic: Traffic pattern to or from the facility will be treating, storing or disposing of hazardous waste, an emergency response plan exists for the facility which includes notification, containment and evacuation procedures to be used in case of an accidental release.

7. Emergency Response Plan: If the facility will be treating, storing or disposing of hazardous waste, an emergency response plan exists for the facility which includes notification, containment and evacuation procedures to be used in case of an accidental releases.

8. Consistent with County Plan: If the facility is to located in a county where the county board has adopted a solid waste management plan consistent with the planning requirements of the local recycling act, the facility is consistent with that plan.

9. Regulated Recharge Area: If the facility will be located within a regulated recharge area, any applicable requirements specified by the board for such areas have been met.

Executive summary, in Brief

Per state statue, Peoria County Staff is required to give its recommendation regarding siting approval to the Siting Subcommittee. This recommendation was submitted March, 27, 2006 after thourough review of the application and the public comment file.

Based upon it review, the County Staff determines that, subject to a few exceptions which are dealt with by special conditions, the applicant satisfies the nine (9) statutory criteria established by state law. County Staff believes that approval of the landfill expansion with the special conditions is the most protective of the health, safety and welfare of Peoria County.


1. Restrictions on Transfer No transfer of a controlling interest in the ownership of the PDC landfill may be made without the prior written approval of the Peoria County Board
2. Environmental Monitoring:
3. PDC shall implement an ambient air monitoring program at the PDC Landfill.
4. No Rail Line Spurs
5. Additional Expansions Prohibited. PDC shall not seek to expand the PDC Landfill vertically or horizontally again.
6. Surface Impoundment. PDC will initiate closure of the existing surface impoundment within 30 days of receiving it operating permit authorization for the replacement tank.
7. Capacity Guarantee for Peoria County Generators. Until June 1, 2021, PDC agrees to provide disposal capacity at the PDC’s #1 Landfill for waste generators located in Peoria County for all hazardous waste, MGP Remediation Waste and Non Hazardous Process Waste which is estimated to be generated by industry located within Peoria County.
8. Perpetual Care Fund. Upon final approval, PDC shall establish a Perpetual Care Escrow Account and deliver an initial sum of $1000, with additional sums equal to $1150 per ton of the expanded volume of waste to be deposited on at leas a quarterly basis thereafter.
9. Construction Quality Assurance (CPQ) Recommendations. PDC shall follow and implement the CQA recommendations.
10. Leachate Collection System Inspections. PDC shall inspect the leachate collection systems at the PDC Landfill throughout the landfill operating period.
11. Sediment Basin Energy Dissipaters. PDC shall construct energy dissipaters at the storm water discharge points into the sediment basin.
12. County involvement in the Permitting process. Peoria County, and it consultants, shall have the right to be involved in the initial permitting for the horizontal and vertical expansion of the PDC Landfill.
Additional Special Conditions:
For a compete description of the additional special conditions, please see the Staff Report on Peoria County’s website

1. Surface Impoundment
2. C-1Sump Manhole Retrofit
3. No Expansion of Trench 1
4. Retain Low Permeability Material Over Capped Portions of Cell C-2
5. Alternate Manhole retrofit
6. Intermediate Line
7. Ambient Air Monitoring
8. Methane Migration Planning
9. Additional Groundwater Monitoring Wells
10. Minimize Visual Impact
11. Leachate Removal from Sumps
12. Storm water Detention Basin Testing
13. Perpetual Care Fund
14. Signage
15. Annual Emergency Planning Exercise

For the following special conditions, please see the supplemental Staff Report on the Peoria County website
1. Waste Review Committee
2. Designated Truck Rout Notification
3. Minimum Annual Contribution to Perpetual Care fund
4. Ambient Air Mentoring
5. Additional $1 million Post Closure Trust Fund Contribution

By recommending siting approval, County Staff is protecting the health, safety and welfare of Peoria County by ensuring the Landfill will be monitored and cared for after it’s closure, as evidenced by the following table. The table reflects Dr. Lee’s recommended perpetual care requirements, the IEPA’s post closure care requirements, (415IlCS 5/22/03) and the perpetual care activities outlined by County Staff, enforceable thru the Host Agreement.
(Dr. Lee was and expert witness providing testimony for the Families Against Toxic Waste)

This is a summation of detailed information recommended for approval by the Peoria County Staff and recommendations that were denied by the Peoria County Full Board on Thursday, April 6, 2006. The vote was 7 ayes and 10 nays.

(Any mistakes of sequence are the responsibility of me but you may find the complete Siting Process on

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Guaranteed Safety of the Solid Waste Landfill?

I quote from another half /truth or no truth in a “letter to the editors of the JS” in today’s edition. Esther Cohen writes “County Board member Bob Baietto asked engineers for a “certainty” that there could be no serious accidents and, of course, after a long and detailed answer by staff, the conclusion was that it was impossible to know.” Had she been at the ITOO Hall to listen to the 40 hours of expert testimony, she would have heard safety discussed and testimony provided by expert testimony, including our Highway Superintendent. No human being or company on the face of the earth can guarantee any accidents. PDC nor anyone else can recall any accidents that would have harmed the environment. Ms. Cohen wants a guarantee of no accidents till the end of time!!

According to my records this was the only meeting out of 8 or more that Esther Cohen attended if you can call her short appearance, an attendance. The record will show she has never in the 5 plus years I’ve been a county board member attended a Peoria County Board meeting to express her concern about anything.

In the Journal Stat today it reads “Woman dies after SUV hits utility pole.” I want to ask Esther and all people who are asking for “forever” guarantees may wonder if the poor woman, who was killed, asked before she bought the SUV or before she went out of the house would anyone guarantee she would return alive. Next time you go to a doctor for treatment or surgery, ask this doctor to guarantee that you will not get more ill, get staph infection or even die. 43,000 people died in vehicle accidents last year. Guarantees for life? Time to bunker down, Peoria. Maybe use those bunkers abandoned by American East Explosives that may be the source of pollution near PDC. Aren’t by vows, marriages guaranteed for life? Hmmmmm.

Esther continues “Another question was asked about the type of ground under the PDC. Was it usual? Yes, was the reply? I left abruptly.” (Ms. Cohen)
Ms. Cohen, would you please explain your definition of “usual” soil? Read expert witness statements and you will see that even the opposition expert says this if not ordinary dirt soil. Some who read me and know Ms. Cohen, who I’m sure is a nice lady as was my mother who also knew nothing about landfills, ask her if she knows about the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and their stringent controls over all landfills AFTER the IPEA was created and was given authority to safeguard our health. Have any of the “no” people beside Tom Edwards gotten an opinion from the IPEA on the PDC landfill and its threat to our water system? If we’re going to become a ghost town, surely Caterpillar is interested. I saw a Caterpillar representative testify for the expansion, not against. Who wants headquarters in a “ghost town?”

Tremendous time and money was spent to bring forward expert testimony only to have much of the populace and some County Board members buy into the hysteria poisoning that PDC expansion will bring to this community. The Landfill is already there and if it’s going to pollute it’s going to pollute, once it is abandoned.

Dave Williams, Peoria County Board Chairman, defending his “no” vote, is quoted in today’s Journal as saying, “My concern is the aquifer.” Hey, Dave, aren’t we all concerned? That’s why we “yes” voters, voted for the only plan that guarantees a lifetime maintenance plan!!

Williams was noticeably absent thru most of the six day testimony. When I asked him why he didn’t attend, he said “because you were there to listen to the testimony.” I , along with six other board members, voted “yes” to expand over a part of the existing landfill, voted based on facts garnered from expert testimony after hearing people testify for six days including a Saturday. . My yes vote was based on adding a number of special conditions, including a perpetual maintenance trust fund; these conditions approved by PDC to staff and presented to the full County Board. Dave voted no. Hmmmmmm.

I reiterate the facts. Neither Illinois American Water Company nor the Pleasant Valley public water system representatives came forward to testify against the expansion. Wouldn’t you think that since they are they major water suppliers to the area that they would express their concern??

On 2/26/06, Stanton Browning Executive Director of the GPSD is quoted in the JS as saying “Greater Peoria Sanitary District predicts a 5% increase in service costs to Peorians served by the district if the landfill closes. That’s because the district treats PDC’s waste in return for PDC’s hauling district waste sludge to the City/County Landfill. Note the CITY/COUNTY LANDFILL, not PDC.

Sean Shanahan writes in a letter to the JS editors, “staff is obviously uncomfortable with what now exists.” Like we all aren’t? But Sean, its there and has been there for 27 years. Are you going to guarantee to take care of it when PDC close it down in 2009 and maybe leaves the area? Oh, I see, they have responsibility for 15 years of closure, but those like you are talking about 50 to 500 years in the future? So what about after 2024?? With your requests for “guarantees”, what do you guarantee after year 2024 except the responsibility of you, your children and grandchildren to spend their money to maintain this most likely abandoned EXISTING landfill forever?

“A country (county) that seeks great change and lacks the willingness to run great risks dooms itself to futility. (Clarendon)

Monday, April 10, 2006

PDC Siting Application Facts

The unsigned letter received from the Peoria Medical Society to the Peoria County Board reads in part, “The Peoria Medical Society, also, strongly recommends the removal of the existing landfill and relocation to a site which is not in close proximity to an aquifer.” FACT: No governmental body in the United States has or will request the removal of this 27 year old site that complies with Illinois Environmental Rules and Regulations and has 13 consecutive years of no environmental violations.

“Testimony was given of a higher incidence of cancer was occurring in Peoria”. FACT: The Wall Street Editorial Board published the following on 2/23/06, “One myth about cancer is that our industrial society is pumping poisons into the air and water that put us at ever greater risks of cancer. But studies indicate that about 2% of cancer diagnoses are a result of environmental pollutants. Air and water quality have dramatically improved over the past 30 years, and air pollution carcinogens are down by 54% nationwide, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. Economic growth and the freedom that produces it are reducing, rather than increasing, cancer risks.” No evidence was submitted to place the cause with PDC.

The “Vote NO” flyer widely distributed by “Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste” states that PDC wants to expand its “toxic” waste, ect. The word toxic appears 8 times in the flyer. FACT: There was no evidence submitted to the County Board that any “toxic” waste was being dumped in the PDC landfill area requesting an expansion permit. (Refer my previous blog “Letter from the IEPA to Tom Edwards”). Read about the old barrel trenches in my previous blogs. No expansion will be permitted or is it requested for that closed portion of the landfill.

This flyer states “According to the American Cancer Society, Peoria County has a significantly higher cancer rate than the rest of the state.” FACT: No evidence of any kind was submitted by the opposition. Read the transcripts of all the testimony submitted by the applicant and the opposition by visiting

“PDC is a private company, so the PUBLIC has NO idea how much they profit from this landfill.” FACT: True, that’s why we live in a capitalist county, the greatest one in the world and not a socialistic society. We all better hope that they make a profit, pay 6 figure property taxes, spend 4 million dollars in the community each year and employ a hundred people locally. Only profits will support maintenance requirements during the additional 15 years of expansion and for the 15 years after closure. PDC has publicly stated that they would put hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly in a trust fund under jurisdiction of the County Board that will build into hundreds of millions of dollars, 100 years from now. If the permit is not approved, PDC will no longer make a profit at this site after year 2009 and would have no reason to maintain it after the required the 15 year closure period. Responsibility after year 2024 will revert to Peoria County and taxpayers will be financially required to maintain this landfill forever.

Expert testimony predicts that new layers of liners over clay subsurface will last for 100 to 500 years. Read the transcripts of expert testimony.

“The landfill sits atop the Sankoty aquiver system, the source of 60% of Peoria drinking water.” FACT: This statement I believe is made to make people believe the landfill sits “atop” the Sankoty aquifer which is a misleading statement.

FACT: Neither the Pleasant Valley private water system, the water system closest to the landfill, nor the Illinois-American Water Company testified in opposition to the siting application.

“According to EPA siting criteria, a new landfill would not be allowed in this location because of it’s proximity to the aquifer and residential areas.”

FACT: Finally something 100% true. The Peoria County Board would NOT approve a siting for any type of landfill to be located where this landfill is now. The PROBLEM is it is THERE NOW and has been for 27 years and its NOT going away. I didn’t want it there either. But it’s there so I voted to permit continuation of 15 more years for disposal only and 15 more years of closure at the total expense of PDC.

Tomorrow I will blog about the nine criterions PDC is required to meet with the additional Special Conditions recommended by County Staff and Patrick Engineering. This environmental engineering company was hired and approved by the unanimous vote of the full Peoria County Board. Other firms were interviewed. Patrick Engineering, who has sterling credentials, had no past dealings with PDC. PDC is paying for all costs associated with this siting application including the rent of the ITOO Hall.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Love Canal; A Shame and a Shameful Comparison to the PDC Siting Application

My interview with Editor Ben Lambert of the Peoria Times-Observer this week allowed me to express my views about Peoria and who I am. Ben, I left out that I am “fiercely critical where warranted and equally willing to praise a job well done.” (Your management and ownership and your writers are doing an excellent job.) I have never “suffered fools gladly” nor ever totally trusted an enemy who wanted to now be my friend. I have lived a long life and had many great experiences like these five years I have been in politics yet I do not recall any issue in which so many lies were told masked as truths as this sustained attack on Peoria Disposal Company and the Coulter family and team.

One of the first out of town environmentalist, the most passionate environmentalists brought in, was Lois Gibbs, whose name is linked with Love Canal. Just a short review of what she said in comparing Love Canal to PDC was that no dumps are safe and that PDC could become in time another Love Canal. The comparisons were ludicrous.

Let’s look at what happened at Love Canal. Basically Love Canal was an ABANDONED trench with all kinds of industrial chemicals dumped in the trench and then covered and vacated. The trench had no liner, no supervision of what could go the trench and no supervision after closure, and no one was obligated to perpetually maintain it. Worse yet HOMES were built OVER this toxic porridge. All the digging into the ground fractured the cover, emissions rose and the water table was polluted. Eventually after widespread health problems, approximately 900 families were relocated, the waste removed and the trench properly sealed all at a cost of $227 million to the taxpayers. Ms. Gibbs studiously avoided mentioned where the waste removed and transferred from Love Canal was transferred too???

Ms. Gibbs was brought in to incite the community against PDC. She did and the half truths mixed with truths like Love Canal started to panic the community. Tom Edwards rallied support of the environmental community by asking people to believe we had another Love Canal in the making right here in Rivercity; albeit much bigger.

Love Canal was toxic waste untreated and forgotten so the name for PDC buried waste became "toxic" waste substituted for hazardous waste.
Brushed aside was the fact that Love Canal happened before (1978) there were ANY restrictions on any waste disposal.
Anything and everything was dumped in unlined trenches. Love Canal was not alone but it was one of the worst polluted dumps in the country.

What is the difference from PDC?
Expert testimony said the liner system proposed for the expansion exceeds mandated EPA requirements.
The landfill has had 13 straight years without a citation from the IEPA.
Out of the thousands of materials deemed not suitable for organic landfills, approximately 860 are accepted at PDC after approval by the IEPA.
All materials that are deemed toxic when they arrive at the landfill are tested to be sure the load meet specifications. (PDC says approximately 200 loads have been rejected for failure to meet specifications.)
All waste that is specified to be treated is treated to remove any toxins before the west is buried in the landfill.
The PDC landfill is know as a solid waste containment tomb; almost all water leached out after 8-10 years.
Leachate systems are installed to drain off excess water for buried content to surface water.
That water is placed in a holding pool and treated to be acceptable to the Greater Peoria Sanitary District where it is purified to the extent it can be funneled into the Illinois River and some of it makes its way back into the public water systems.
PDC has their own lab people who constantly monitor and check the landfill for any potential problems.
PDC is regularly monitored by Field Representatives of the EPA and must submit scheduled reports.
PDC has offered to let Peoria County come out and do their own testing of the facility.
PDC has never been a secret in this community. It was carefully designed to be as least objectionable to the surrounding neighbors.
The record of testimony does not show any neighbor who can easily see the landfill and who did come forward and to state the landfill was objectionable to their view of their surroundings.
When a PDC landfill section is closed it is covered and monitored for as many years as mandated by state and federal law.
PDC is mandated by law to properly continue to close and maintain the facility for 15 years after burying their last load of hazardous waste. Special Criteria to extend operpetual maintenance for perpetuity (billions of dollars) for one reason or another was rejected by 10 county board members.

The Love Canal expert was brought in to meet the purposes of Tom Edwards and Joyce Blumenshine; to terrorize the citizens of Peoria and some of its neighbors. Even today, Joyce Blumenshine, Chair, Heart of Illinois Sierra club continues to poison the air in Peoria. She writes “PDC knows that the geology and liners will not protect the aquifer. The liners will not last forever. What then?” Very little lasts forever but the believable experts testified that any slow seepage would be mitigated by the largely clayey subsurface in event of any small seepage thru the liners in a hundred to 500 years. Blumenshine questions whether $21 million be enough to begin attending that site 15 years from now. (The addendums voted down would have increased that figure to over $70 million dollars after 30 years of post closure.) Tim or staff, you worked these figures out, and it’s past my bedtime. Post a comment or email me and adjust or further explain. Since the addendum voted down I did not record accurately the numbers.

More truths and facts tomorrow.

Landfill Hysteria

Landfill Hysteria

I received a letter on Aril 4 from a lady who is prominent in Peoria news, telling me that “railway cars of toxic waste are rolling thru the town to the PDC site. Under oath testimony was submitted that there are not nor will be a railhead at PDC.

There were “No Toxic Waste yard signs in front of any residencies of the 24 streets I visited in most affected part of the community and closest to the landfill. Not a one. I was told “you know how it is; the opposition always takes down your signs if they don’t agree with you.” Maybe, but probably not. (I noted only three “For Sale” signs in these neighborhoods less than I saw on Grandview drive where the affluent live and had lots of “no” signs.)

She wrote that“The reason Pleasant Valley Water System, closest to the landfill and the Illinois American Water Company did not submit testimony that the expansion was a threat to the community’s water was that when the water gets more polluted, they will just charge us more.” Ah, so that knocks the theory we will become a “ghost town” as Tom Edwards said one unidentified individual told him. The water companies will be able to treat the water same as they do the water containing mercury, barium, chloride and battery acid and other chemical toxins that are in the river now; Illinois River water we drink from our taps and fountains every day. Hmmmmmmmm. This was probably a realtor looking to drive values down so he could buy houses in the ‘hood’ cheap and rent them to immigrants.

“Any negative affect on property taxes has already happened.” I agree but people over the 27 years the hazardous waste landfill has been at this location and growing, kept building new homes right up to the valley separating PDC form the neighborhoods. Yes, some have told me now that after negative statements made by the environmentalists, they MAY see some loss in value. Two buildings are under construction now. Mr. Edwards says why would anyone build in the area around the landfill knowing what they know? Does he feel all those people who built there and bought their in the past 20 years couldn’t see.

The greatest effect of decrease of property values is from the humans who move into your neighborhood who don’t have the same cultural values you do. As neighborhoods age, they are the same as most things that age; they become less valuable. People often improve their earnings and look for larger or smaller, more expensive or less expensive, move to be closer to someone or something or move out of town because of high property taxes, lack of jobs or dissatisfaction with schools. Location is what realtors say. This location of the landfill is at the same place it was 27 years ago! And the landfill will still be there as the community ages with experts testifying that they will have the same problems they are having now. NONE11

A document was submitted by the opponents, copied from the Washington Post on 9/15/1997 about health effects of a chemical dump in Pitman NJ. They suffered from industrial compounds that gave off breathing fumes. Expert testimony could not tie that toxic dump to PDC’s solid waste dump that the State of Illinois says emits so little emissions that they do not need to regularly test for them.

Mr. Edwards states “Do you think the Chamber of Commerce would tout new business coming to Peoria because it has one of the Midwest major toxic chemical landfills?’ Mr. Edwards is wrong on two points: Did he forget that the Executive Director of the Greater Peoria Chamber of Commerce testified that the 1200 members of the Chamber supported the expansion and did he find in his letters from the State of Illinois Officials where Mr. Edwards described this site as a major toxic waste landfill. The State says it is not. I believe the state and expert testimony presented that this site is not a “toxic” landfill and will not be if the expansion is permitted. Some board members have taken an attitude of guarantee me everything. Sorry, I doubt even the God you worship, could do that.

In a letter to the County Board dated 5/13/04 states that PDC may look for a buyer of this site. Sure and what if it is Waste Management, and then you would have one major waste contractor who could set any price for garbage they want. Does this sound familiar? Think about it. By accepting the application with added protective criteria, the Coulter family cannot sell this landfill without approval from the County Board. Deny it and they may and don’t need approval from the Count Board.

As part of the new siting application the contract would contain a clause of no sale of the company without County Board approval.

Mr. Edwards is constantly talking about the barrel trenches. Those barrels were buried in a different era and if they become a problem, that problem will belong to the owner. The barrel trench area is not affected in any negative way by this siting process which is not over that area. In fact Mr. Norris, expert witness for the opponents testified that an expansion could help prevent leakage from some of the older closed sites.

As a fear tactic Mr. Edward submitted a clipping from the New York Times dated 2/16/05 stating that a “study suggesting that anthropogenic air pollution carries health risks and genetic consequences. Exposure to pollutants caused chiefly by vehicles, pesticides, and smoking have been linked to some fetal harm”. Yes, I believe that so why not spend our valuable dollars eliminating those proven pollutants instead of pollutants that don’t exist at PDC. What does that article have to do with the PDC siting application?? You say PDC does pollute? Prove it. Your experts couldn’t, show me where they did in sworn testimony?

In an undated document submitted to the County board Mr. Edwards had “marked out” 1100 toxic chemicals and their compounds and penned in 900. A quick drop of 200 and a quicker one yet when he said in a document to the county dated Jan.31.06 that there are “843” of the worst toxic wastes known to mankind.” Again reread my blog of the letter the IPEA sent to Mr. Edwards and where he later said the IEPA is lying. He questions why PDC have sometimes had to correct their figures yet Mr. Edwards does it to fit his agenda. PDC has trained laboratory people who are constantly analyzing the entire process.

Turnover is mentioned. Sure, PDC is a local FAMILY OWNED Company. There may be less opportunity for advancement in a family company than a multi-billion dollar company like WM.

Tom says close the facility now. He says “We made it, we can unmake it.” Maybe a lot of the money spent on this hysteria could have been spent of recycling and studying reuse of lead, barium and fly ash. Sure, close all dumps and go back to dumping everything in ditches and on our roads stream beds and rivers, lawns and school yards. We’ve been trying to minimize the bad health effects of vehicle exhaust for 20-30 years. It’s still in the air today. Maybe all problems will be solved in 15 years and the landfill put under a perpetual maintain fund for the next 500 years. I’d suggest the more passionate environmentalists pool their time and money and go to work researching and then developing a permanent waste problem solution.

“Everything eventually leaks.” It was demonstrated by expert witnesses that some moisture escapes from all things over enough years. But it is in such small amounts that it is absorbed into the tightly packed clayey sub-soils and the amounts that would ever hit the small vein to the Sankoty would be no worse than a kid eating chemically treated fruit picked out of a garden or tree without washing it in soap and water, breathing 2nd hand smoke or inhaling oil product fumes and harmful coal dust.. Products are eaten every day that if eaten in great quantities would kill us.

“Closed portions of the landfill have to be constantly sumped or leached.” That’s true, some rainwater gets thru the cover before the three feet lined cover is completed. As testified, the amount leached and treated become less and less so that in 8-10 years the buried covered hazardous waste has virtually no moisture content.

Wastes that are runny are solidified but not treated” says Mr. Edwards. Expert witnesses testified differently, and the trucks I see going into PDC do not appear to be tank trucks.

Testimony submitted by the Sierra Club shows I was absent on February 24. The chairperson will confirm I sat beside her on that day and left at dinner break. Otherwise I have missed no important testimony and I read the testimony by Mr. Norris that I missed only because he asked that his testimony be taken out of sequence and the chair approved.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more facts.

Landfill Protest Petition Had Major Flaws

Tom Edwards, in his letter sent to the Governor of the State of Illinois claimed to have thousands of signatures by concerned citizens who did not want the proposed landfill expansion. A petition dated 2/21/04 and circulated by Mr. Edwards reads as follows: “PDC is seeking a permit from the county board to triple the size of its hazardous waste landfill and to operate it for 30 years.”

This is a misleading statement. The application asks for 15 more years of accepting toxic waste that is treated to be acceptable by the State of Illinois to be buried in the landfill. PDC would then be responsible for closure of this site over the following 15 years.

Triple the size is also misleading. The application clearly states the portion of the existing landfill acreage where the applicant is seeking a permit. No where close to tripling the size.

“A recent joint 5 country study in Europe found that babies born of mother living within two miles of hazardous waste landfills had 40% more birth defects and 33% more of other abnormalities" (The Lancet 1/26/02). I suggest readers get a copy of this document and read it. Mr. Edwards intentionally left out a lot of information. How old are these landfills? Were they dumps before Love Canal when environmentalists and BEFORE just plain citizens and doctors became aware of potential problems? Were they dumps before new strict environmental laws were passed in Europe? Is Europe as strict as our governments are today? Were these landfills under strict regulations as is the site managed by PDC? Were they managed at all? Did people build new house OVER closed and topped landfills like they did at Love Canal? Were they organic waste landfills that certainly do emit a lot of toxic pollution such as methane? Did they incinerate at these dumps? (PDC does not and will not accept waste that needs to be incinerated.)

Organic landfills have for the past number of years mined methane gas and recycled it like they have done in Tazewell County for the past twenty years and Peoria City/County for the past ten years. Either mine it or flare it as all of you have seen flares at organic waste landfills all over the country.

The siting application is for solid waste that is treated and goes into the landfill as solid material and emits not enough gas for the IEPA be even concerned. (See my blog copying the letter from the IPEA to Mr. Edwards.)

Mr. Edwards, doctors and almost everybody know that that toxic waste is a SERIOUS PROBLEM TO OUR HEALTH. That’s why it is treated and disposed of in hazardous waste landfills. That’s why you can die and do from drugs prescribed to you by your own doctors. Isn’t that why there are so many malpractice suits against doctors and why doctors insurance is so high. (I recognize the high cost is also due to “tort” attorneys.) Do any of you use pesticides, how about rat and mole killer tablets? Aren’t the bottles marked dangerous? Where do you dump your excess toxics? Try to be honest, there is highly toxic and pollutants in every home that should be properly disposed or treated and isolated. These legally sold drugs can and have hastened many peoples demise. Whatever happens to them from your home; they do not wind up at the PDC hazardous landfill.

Can you drink water from a tile out in the county? I advise not, just as I would suggest you not eat or drink waste of any kind, even on your own properties. A lot of country water has been chemically polluted by the farmers for years. What about the pollution coming from many of the un-inspected or un-regulated septic tanks in the county? I’ve been attacking that problem but without much help from some board members or from environmentalists, many of who have septic tanks. Where do you think that toxic goes? To the Greater Peoria Sanitary district, the same place that the stuff you flush down your stools and the treated leachate water from PDC. Director Stan Browning testified that the Sanitary District could handle all legal liquid waste in Peoria including from PDC. (Treated leachate water)

Why did Mr. Edwards not submit information about studies made in Peoria County about birth defects and diseases caused by the current landfill has caused? Because there aren’t any problem’s from that area being reported and studies to find the source. Are they from the numerous privately owned abandoned wells around the PDC? Are they from the numerous abandoned ammunition dumps directly adjacent to PDC property? Yes, these closed and tightly sealed dumps are there and the whole area around I SPECULATE is polluted. These abandoned dumps have been there since WW2. Have the zealous environmentalist looked into that probably seven acre site for possible air and water pollution?

Mr. Edwards is such a virtual fountain of half truths that on the petitions so many of you signed, he called the aquifer the “San Koty”. Maybe that was an old Indian name.

Why haven’t you looked more closely into unsubstantiated source of pollution in that area?? Is it because American East Explosives is not a local company and not as easy to attack as PDC? Those of you who SPECULATE on the source of the slight polution, tell me why not? Also what about the shingles, tires, garbage, cars, oil, and paint all dumped just outside the land owned by PDC? Want to check it out for yourself? Just ask Mr. Edwards to take you and show you. He knows they are there. He was able to walk all around the undeveloped areas south and southwest of PDC LOCALLY OWNED and MAINTAINED landfill.

Adding to the panic, Mr. Edwards claims the PDC’s permit expires in 2005. I believe today’s date is April 2006 and the landfill is still legally operating.

So now some of you who were panicked into signing Mr. Edwards “River Rescue” petitions may realize that you were misled. You say you still don’t want this expansion? Of course not, but don’t let the facts get in your way before you say “shame on me” which many have said in emails to me. I say “shame on those" for not doing more homework before they attack me for doing mine.

Keep reading and passing on my blog site to others. Let’s get the facts circulated to people who can think and interpret what they hear and read.

People may not admit they signed a petition with misleading information on it but I believe some don’t care. They were against it from the beginning and they didn’t want any facts to get in the way.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tom Edwards and the IEPA

September 23, 2004

Tom Edwards
2702 North Peoria Ave. (He doesn’t live there anymore.??
Peoria, Illinois 61603

Re: Peoria Disposal Company’s Hazardous Waste Landfill
1438120003-Peoria County
Peoria Disposal Company

Dear Mr. Edwards:

I have been asked to respond to your letter of August 17, 2004, which was addressed to Governor Blagojevich. In this letter, you express several concerns regarding the permitted hazardous waste landfill owned by Peoria Disposal Company ion Pottstown, Illinois. A previous letter from Director Cipriano to you dated April 20, 20004 addressed many of your concerns. For your convenience, a copy of this letter is attached.

I will address new concerns raised by the subject letter below:

Illinois is the major dumping grounds for much of the most toxic waste hazardous waste known to man, and is permitted by EPA to accept over 1000
such compounds. (Statement by Tom Edwards)

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)

As Director Cipriano indicated, before a hazardous waste can be legally disposed, it must be treated to comply with the Land Disposal Restrictions
(LDR’s). The LDR’s are a federally mandated requirement. The specific LDR requirements vary from one waste type to another, but the underlying
goal is to ensure that the treated wastes are safe for disposal in a landfill that is designed in accordance with the federal design standards. There fore it is simply not true that the wastes disposed in the PDC hazardous waste landfill are the most toxic hazardous waste know to mankind.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
It (Illinois) has two of the nation’s remaining 15 commercial hazardous waste landfills, at Calumet and Peoria. They serve the Midwest and beyond. Both are on tributaries of the Illinois River, and will (if not already) leach into it.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
The State of Illinois has little control over who applies for a hazardous waste permit. As long as the Applicanct has proper siting from local authorities, and provides a complete application that complies with the hazardous waste regulations, and protects human health and the environment, Illinois EPA is obligate to issue a permit.
There are many safeguards in the hazardous waste management program to prevent migration of leachate from a hazardous waste site. These include the LDR’s the liner systems, the leachate collection system, the leak detection system, and the groundwater monitoring system. These safeguard form multiple layer of defense against such migration. If any of these layers of defense fails, the next layer easily detects it, and the Permitee is then required to correct the problem. There is no evidence of any off-site environmental problems arising from the PDC facility. No contamination has been detected by the ground water monitoring wells at the facility. If there was, PDC would be required to correct the problem.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
Also, the world is just beginning to realize that the toxic gases volatilizing from such landfills are causing birth defects.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
As Director Cipriano indicated, the Bureau of Air permits emissions from the gas management systems. The gas emissions from the PDC Facility are so low that routine testing is not required. If the emissions were to increase, then more restrictive requirements would be applied. There is no evidence of any health risk from the gas emissions at the PDC facility.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
Only a plastic membrane barrier is expected to keep their soupy contents contained for hundreds of years and longer. But plastic cracks, breaks under weight and age, and caustic materials eat into it. But unlike water, sewer and gas lines, and swimming pools, ect. the deep underground breaks of landfills cannot be fixed. We are looking at what may be future billion dollar superfund sites.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
The safeguards of hazardous waste management system that we already discussed are specifically designed to prevent this from happening. The components of the containment system are carefully tested to insure that they will be able to stand up over a long-term both the physical and chemical stresses imposed by the waste. I there were a failure of the containment system, the Permitee would be required to correct the problem.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
Now, the owner of Peoria toxic waste landfill wants to triple its size and expand its receiving territory. But in a decade or two the owners of these landfills will be long gone, and the taxpayers will be left holding the bag.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
As Director Cipriano indicated, before PDC could apply for an expansion of the hazardous waste landfill, it would have to provide Illinois EPA with proof that the local government had approved the siting for the expansion. To date, no such application or proof of siting has been submitted to Illinois EPA. Any siting decision is strictly in the hands of the local government. The Sate of Illinois has no involvment in this process. Neither the permit nor the regulation restricts the receiving territory of a permitted hazardous waste landfill. As Director Cipriano indicated, such a restriction would be a violation of the Interstate Commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
Until the last few months (when we provided the city with this information), Peoria was completely naïve about the risks, volume, or even that 1100 hazardous materials from lethal metals as mercury and cadmium to extremely toxic chemicals, are permitted by the IEPA to be buried in a hole in the ground.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
All documents associated with a hazardous waste permit application are a matter of public record. This record is maintained by the Illinois EPA, but is readily available to any member of the public through the Freedom O Information Act. Further, for initial applications and modifications to existing permits, public notices of the pleading permit actions are placed in local newspapers and sent to all local, state, and federal elected officials in the area of the site. These notices inform the public of the proposed change, identify where more information can be obtained, and invite the public to comment on the pending action. Additionally, depending on the significance of the change, a public repository may be established at a local public building. When used, the repository contains all information Illinois EPA uses to make a permit decision. These measures are intended to keep the local public and its elected officials informed of permit actions. As to local siting decisions, similar public notification procedures apply, but are handled at the local level, rather than at the state level.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
Also, state surveillance is wanting.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
Permitted hazardous waste landfills have several layers of compliance tracking. This includes regular in-person inspections by the IPEA’s Field Operations Section, and regular reporting by the Permittee of all activities required by the permit. Some of these activities include: information from routine inspections of the facility conducted by site personnel, maintenance activities, problems that arise the trigger implementation of the site contingency plan, leachate monitoring results, leak detection system monitoring results, groundwater monitoring results, and the types of waste received. All of this information is certified by independent sources and in many cases is verified by IPEA Field Inspectors.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
We have left the enclosed petition in the doors of homes in the vicinity of the landfill and many have been mailed in. So far, we have gathered about 2300 signatures.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
The referenced petition asks for a rejection of the proposed expansion. As previously indicated, the decision for siting a landfill expansion is made by the local authorities. I the siting is granted by local authorities, and a complete application is submitted that complies with all regulations and protects human health and the environment, the IEPA is obligated to approve the application.

(Statement by Mr. Edwards)
The long term risks from such landfills is so great that the state need to close down the private operations and take over complete responsibility for such disposal! And the nation needs to find better ways to deal with such materials.

(Answer to Mr. Edwards)
Neither the State of Illinois, nor the United States Government has the authority to commandeer private property in this manner.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about this matter. If you have any further questions or concerns about this facility, please contact Mark L. Crites of my staff.


Joyce L. Munie, P.E>
Manager, Permit Section
Bureau of Land

Enclosure: Director Cipriano’s letter of April 20, 2000. (Addressed also to Mr. Edwards)

bcc: Bureau File
Peoria Region
Steve Nightingale
Rhonda Davenport
Renee Cipriano
Mark L. Crites

Refer to my blog about Mr. Edwards telling the Peoria Times Observer that the IEPA lied to him in this letter. Mr. Edwards appeared to be trying his best to get the State of Illinois to declare this a TOXIC waste landfill and have the government take it over.. Mr. Edwards and some of his ilk are probably living in the wrong country. Maybe not, the way some are trying their best to take over this country.

It is getting late but I will be back tomorrow to help SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

Landfill Truths

One of my first blogs published 8/06/04 was titled “Conceptions, misconceptions, perceptions, truths, subtle falsehoods and outright lies”. Truths have been hard to come by from the opponents of landfill expansion and some Peoria County Board members. Yesterday I asked DeWayne Bartels of the Peoria Times-Observer to send me copy of a reprint of an editorial printed in the Observer dated 2/22/05.

Here it is: “The toxic waste landfill on Peoria’s outskirts is silent but it’s critics are not. In recent months critics of the landfill’s expansion, now under consideration by the Peoria County Board, have been vocal at county board, city council and even school board meetings. We applaud the critics for getting involved and speaking out. Their passion is evident.

Their credibility however is not. And, the fault for that lies with no one but the critics themselves. Tom Edwards has accused the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency of LYING in a letter they wrote to him in on September 232, 2004. In that letter the IEPA took exception with some of Edwards’ assertions about the landfill. Edwards says the IEPA lied in the letter, but does not say where they lied in the letter, or offer an explanation as to why he felt they lied.

And then last week, Joyce Blumenshine, a member of the Sierra Club chapter, spoke before the Peoria City Council adding more information to the argument against the landfill’s expansion. Blumenshine, in an address to the City Council read from a Novemeber 8, 1977 (almost 30 years ago) memo about the landfill. Blumenshine offered some information to the argument against the landfill’s expansion. Blumenshine read, in part, “The liquid separation and the spraying scheme appears to have little merit as it would only aggravate current problems at the site. The waste isolation trench plan, on the other hand, appears to be a vast improvement over special waste handling methods at this site…” Then Blumenshine read some more critical paragraphs contained in the letter. These ellipse between the paragraphs Blumenshine read are worthy of looking at. Blumenshine left out in her reading the one sentence that separates the two columns of criticism. That sentence reads, “There may be some problems with monitoring the construction of these special waste encapsulation areas, but on the whole, the idea appears sound.”

Because that sentence was purposely left out by Joyce Blumenshine what was presented to the public was a slanted view of the IPEA’s view of the PDC’s operation at that time, a critical view, a view that fits the purposes of the critics.

The landfill expansion critics have valid reasons to be concerned. (I agree and always have) But why they chose to play games with IPEA letters is a question the public deserves to have answered by these critics”.

On my next blog the letter to Mr. Edwards from the IPEA will be printed that Edwards along with Blumenshine, deliberately---- (you fill in the proper word)

Please read my next blog.

Hazardous Waste

On 1/3/06, passionate “environmentalist” Tom Edwards, sent me a letter signed by Tom defining “hazardous waste”. He referred me to the Environmental Protection Act Sec. 3.220 Source: P.A. 92-574, eff. 6-26-02.) I read the 11 line paragraph defining hazardous waste and saw no mention that hazardous waste was “toxic”. The act says that hazardous waste is a “potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, and transported or disposed of.

On 4/6/06 I received a hand delivered message from Mr. Edwards, who lives at 2702 N. Peoria Ave., stating that hazardous waste is “Toxic”.
Over a period of time I received a series of messages from Mr. Edwards with conflicting contents. One document stated that a landfill in New Jersey was found to cause considerable health problems. The document was dated 1997. Yet nine years later, no environmentalist or concerned doctors, have found any reason to study the landfill in Peoria operated by PDC. No testimony was presented to show any pollution of ANY kind, any disease or any adverse affect on the community that could be PROVEN to be caused by the hazardous waste landfill.

In 1997, Mr. Edwards gave me an article that said Caterpillar set out to develop a process that for the first time ever, recycle 100 percent of hazardous waste and eliminate landfills. Nine years later, no follow-up results were forth coming from Mr. Edwards. Hmmmmm.

On 2/15/06 the Peoria Times Observer said “IEPA disputes claims against toxic waste dump”. Mr. Edwards is quoted as saying that the Illinois Environmental Agency is “lying”. The IPEA was disputing Mr. Edwards’s constant rants that PDC was accepting the most toxic wastes in the land. The letter from IPEA says “it is simply NOT true that the wastes disposed in the PDC hazardous waste landfill are the most “toxic waste known to mankind”. Yet Mr. Edwards thru his constant barrage of half truths has convinced this community that the Coulter families are polluters and enemies of the community. Mr. Edwards has numerous times stretched the truth in order to strike terror in the heart of many of the people in this community.

He says there are no “random” spot checks for waster pollutants conducted by the EPA. Wow! He insinuates that PDC changes the water quality because they know the IEPA is coming to check!! Wow, what wizards are these hard working well educated employees at PDC.

Another time, to get a point across, a leading community environmentalist, left out a whole paragraph from a quote taken from a letter from the IEPA. This part left out changed the whole meaning to the environmentalist advantage and mislead the readers printed in the Observer. DeWayne Bartels caught the omission and printed an article pointing out the obvious discrepancy. DeWayne, help me out, I have temporarily misplaced the file.

I’ll blog more on quoted and printed lies and half truths later. I’m calling it a night!! And a bad night for the so-called democratic process.