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5th & Hill

Champaign council leaves groundwater ordinance alone

By Patrick Wade/The News-Gazette -- To the dismay of a health care advocacy group, the city will keep its 4-year-old "groundwater restriction ordinance" after a council vote on Tuesday night.

Opponents of the ordinance said it gives corporations a free pass on cleaning up contaminated properties, but in general, the city council disagreed. The majority of representatives on Tuesday indicated they were unsure repealing the ordinance would accomplish the goal of encouraging the cleanup of contaminated sites.

Council member Marci Dodds said it could, in fact, discourage cleanup and subsequent redevelopment of contaminated properties.

"I prefer cleanup to no cleanup," Dodds said.

Acton Gorton/ - A sign sits in the front yard of a house in the 5th and Hill streets area near a toxic cleanup site. Neighbors of the site are concerned that the cleanup by Ameren Illinois won't be enough to protect them from further toxic hazards, such as groundwater contamination.

Champaign agrees to plug pipe near Boneyard Creek

By Illinois Public Media News - An environmental group says Champaign is doing the right thing by plugging a pipe suspected of having dangerous chemicals located near the Boneyard Creek.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers reported in March that findings from environmental experts show pollutants exist in an old pipe that extends from the site of a former manufactured gas plant at Champaign’s 5th and Hill Streets.

Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - The city of Champaign has agreed to plug this pipe near Boneyard Creek

Tests confirm toxins found in Boneyard Creek site

By Illinois Public Media News - A health care advocates group says the findings of environmental experts from a Boneyard Creek pipeline confirm their fears about contaminants. 

Champaign County Health Care Consumers brought in the researchers to investigate the old pipe that extends from the site of a former manufactured gas plant at Champaign’s 5th and Hill Streets owned by Ameren.  Grant Antoline, an activist with the group, says lab results confirmed there was coal tar in the pipe, and it contained organic compounds like benzene, and hydrocarbons that exceed safety standards. 

Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - Ameren Illinois' cleanup of the former manufactured-gas plant at Fifth and Hill streets in Champaign continues.

Neighbors threaten lawsuit in campaign against toxic site

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - Wading in the frigid water of Boneyard Creek on Monday afternoon, a small team of community activists and environmental consultants collected samples from a clay pipe they believe once carried toxic chemicals from a nearby factory and continues to pollute the stream.

Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - Grant Antoline, left, a community organizer with the Champaign County Health Care Consumers, and environmental consultants Mark Zeko and Bob Bowcock prepare to collect samples from a pipe that believe is connected to the former manufactured-gas plant at Fifth and Hill streets.

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