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Landfill Controversy Subject Of Public Forum

A public forum Wednesday in Springfield is the latest in an ongoing debate over how to clean up a Clark County landfill. Residents have been at odds with the US Environmental Protection Agency for years over how to clean 300,000 gallons of industrial waste at the Tremont City landfill.

Now, The EPA is sending a third party to address their concerns.

The debate over the Tremont landfill has been ongoing since 2010, when the EPA presented a plan that would remove all of the hazardous waste at the Superfund site. A year later, the agency changed its plan, and now will rebury some of the waste and empty drums at the site for a cheaper cost.

Peter Townsend with the group People for Safe Water says the new proposal will not benefit the environment, but rather Chemical Waste Management, the company largely responsible for the clean up.

"It's something they haven't done at any other site in the country before,"  says Townsend. "We think that Waste Management would like to do it because if this sets a precedent then they can say 'well in Clark County we did it this way.' They are going to save a bunch of money all across the country at the other sites if they can get this through here."

In a written statement, EPA says its current approach is environmentally safe, meets government guidelines and will effectively clean up the landfill.

The EPA is bringing in an outside facilitator for the public forum to hear resident’s concerns, but the agency says it’s unlikely that there will be any changes to the clean up effort.