An environmental group – Prairie Rivers Network – has filed suit in federal court seeking to force Dynegy to clean up some toxic coal ash located in pits next to the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, northwest of Danville. The lawsuit alleges Dynegy is violating the federal Clean Water Act. It says pollution has leaked from the pits and tainted the river with a visible orange, purple, and rust-colored toxic residue. Prairie Rivers Network maintains the coal ash contains a slew of dangerous pollutants that are linked to cancer, heart disease and strokes, as well as brain damage for children. Though the power station has been shuttered for several years, three pits remain there filled with coal ash left over from decades of the coal-burning process.
Dynegy has been working on a “closure plan” for the Vermilion Power Station ash pits and has proposed to the IEPA capping the impoundments with an earthen layer and leaving them in place.