On December 8 and 9, Joliet residents will have the opportunity to ask NRG Energy about their plans to close the leaking unlined coal ash impoundment inside the Lincoln Stone Quarry. NRG is holding two public meetings to review their plan to close the impoundments through a process called “capping,” which leaves the coal ash in place, instead of removing it. This will leave the coal ash permanently in contact with groundwater. Prairie Rivers Network, Sierra Club Illinois, Earthjustice, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (CARE) have serious environmental and public health concerns about this proposal.
The coal ash pit in Lincoln Stone Quarry has been leaching unsafe levels of pollution into groundwater for decades, and the company’s own evidence shows that the polluted groundwater has been, and may continue to be, moving toward residential drinking water wells. Leaving several million tons of coal ash in groundwater at the Quarry means the ash will continue leaching out heavy metals and other coal ash contaminants for centuries.
“Coal ash surrounds our city in so many areas, and the mitigation that is being proposed is not removing it from our water system,” says local resident Elise Kendrot. “We’re looking at having to get water from Lake Michigan because our water supply is running low, and yet we’re not taking care of the water we currently have by allowing these coal ash ponds to remain in place.”
This public meeting is a direct result of the implementation of Illinois’ new coal ash rules, and is the first opportunity for community members to engage with the owners of coal ash impoundments. After the meetings, NRG will have to respond to the public’s comments before applying for a construction permit from the Illinois EPA.
WHAT: An opportunity for the public to ask NRG questions about its plan to cap the coal ash in the Lincoln Stone Quarry.
WHEN: Two options: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 6:00 PM and Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 10:00 AM.
WHERE: Online Meeting Only. Participants can join by phone at 312-626-6799 or online via Zoom: Meeting ID: 813 3905 0675.
AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW:
Jenny Cassel, Earthjustice
Kiana Courtney, Environmental Law & Policy Center
Faith Bugel, attorney representing Sierra Club Illinois
Elise Kendrot, local resident and Sierra Club volunteer
Andrew Rehn, Prairie Rivers Network
Sandy Burcenski, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (CARE)