Odds not looking good, but citizens continue opposing landfill - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Odds not looking good, but citizens continue opposing landfill expansion

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Almost three years go by and the fighting continues for a DeKalb County landfill. The dispute's over whether or not it should expand from around 80 acres to just under 400.

Those opposing the expansion haven't had much success in this battle. The DeKalb County Board's approved the project, so has the Illinois Pollution Control Board, and most recently, the 2nd District Appellate Court.

"We are going to petition to the Illinois Supreme Court and ask them to take our case." -says 'Stop the Mega-Dump' citizens' group coordinator Dan Kenney.

County residents helped push the movement at an informational meeting. Kenney says this next step doesn't mean they'll see action right away.

"It will put everything on hold for a little bit longer, one month to three months, the latest would be March that we would hear back whether they're going to take the case or not."

Georgia Neal has lived in Cortland for 13 years. She supports the group and has her concerns about a bigger garbage dump, like poisonous gas collecting around Cortland Elementary School.

"It's right in the backyard of the school, I'm concerned with the health and safety of our children." -she says.

Kenney assures the school district isn't seeing any problems for now.

"They put in a monitoring device inside the school to monitor the air on a regular basis and so I think they feel that that's safe." -he adds.

If the group's petition is denied, Kenney says they've got a back-up plan. He claims there's a state law that says electors, people registered to vote in Cortland, have the right to prevent landfill expansion. The group hasn't used that argument yet because the lawsuit they're in now is different, it has to do with the unfairness of the hearing process during the county's decision to approve the dump.

Waste Management owns the DeKalb County Landfill. They're spokesperson Bill Plunkett released the following statement:

"The group has long opposed DeKalb County's approval of the expansion which occurred more than 2 years ago, we fully respect their right to meet, but otherwise have no view on the meeting."

Illinois Pollution Control Board senior attorney Kathleen Crowley states that the ball is in the oppositions' court. DeKalb County Board Chairman Larry Anderson, who voted in favor of the expansion, says as far as he's concerned, this is all a done deal.

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