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Government

Rock Island Co. Resident Persists Trying to Get Landfill Cleaned Up

Joe Whitley's home and 40 acres are located next to the Taylor Ridge Landfill. Since 1972, he's been working with state agencies to try and fix the damage caused by pollution from the garbage dump.

First, Whitley says it was ESG Watts and the company's owner, James Watts, whose poor management resulted in hundreds of citations from the state EPA.
Whitley says state officials have told him the estimated cost of capping and sealing the landfill is four to six million dollars. And several years ago, he learned about a fund of 1.8 million dollars set aside to do just that.

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Tom Davis, from the Illinois Attorney General's Office, worked with me for years and years. We asked the state EPA to release that money to at least get the engineering part of the cleanup and closure started. But the agency refused.

Over the past five years, Midwest Methane has claimed it shouldn't have to pay for for the cleanup and closure, and that Watts still operates the Taylor Ridge Landfill. Today's ruling makes it clear, the Chicago company is responsible. But Whitley says it won't matter since its assets are tied up in bankruptcy court. 

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