Most all of you know that the organic waste generated in the Peoria area is deposited in it’s original form in the City/County Landfill out near Edwards. This facility is operated and managed by Waste Management and has no connection between the Peoria Disposal Corporation operated by the local Royal Coulter family. Many years ago a contract was signed with a company out of the Chicago area called RTC to “mine” the methane gas generated by this facility and sell the gas locally.. All went well until RTC filed for bankruptcy a number of years ago. Since then the mining operation is badly broken and methane gas is escaping into the air. The City/County has ordered and will install a large flare to burn off this escaping gas. We are not permitted by the bankruptcy court to correct the problem until the bankruptcies involving many other landfills where RTC had contracted for mining rights is resolved.
Much litigation has been created by this mess and much of the cost will be borne by local taxpayers. Why bankruptcy courts allow situations like this to drag on for many years is beyond my scope of common sense. As a representative of Peoria County serving on the Landfill Committee I see first hand some of the flaws of our legal system.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from an IEPA executive stating that a “friendly” lawsuit is in the process of being filed against the City/County for violations to the environment occurring at this facility. It is the hope of those directly involved that this lawsuit is indeed friendly and will cause the bankruptcy courts to take action to allow the committee the right to enter into an agreement with another entity to take over the mining and selling of this methane gas and allow the City/County to realize an income from this operation as we have in the past. The past couple of years this situation has become an increasingly large time consuming and financial strain upon the committee and our attorneys.
It has been suggested by our county attorney that a new contract with a new operator could perhaps be better written to give us more rights in case of another financial failure.
Keep you posted.