A former Vermilion County coal plant has received a violation notice for alleged contamination of the Middle Fork River.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency cited Vistra Energy Corp., for alleged environmental violations at the former Vermilion Power Station near Oakwood. The notice was sent following an EPA stream survey of the Middle Fork River near three coal-ash ponds owned by Vistra.
The News-Gazette reports that the survey found that rock-filled areas meant to prevent riverbank erosion under the ash ponds, had been damaged or were “completely missing.”
The Illinois EPA also found “heavily stained reddish-brown discoloration” along the riverbank bordering the Vistra property because of leaking material.
Environment groups and Vermilion County officials have raised questions about ongoing contamination from the Vermilion coal ash ponds.
A lawsuit against Vistra was filed in May by the Prairie Rivers Network, claiming toxic chemicals and heavy metals from coal ash are contaminating groundwater and entering the Middle Fork River. Vistra is preparing a proposal to the Illinois EPA for permanent closure of its Vermilion coal-ash ponds.