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Excavation work at 5th and Hill site sparks outrage from health care group

By Sean Powers/Illinois Public Media - Excavation work continues at the site that once housed a manufactured gas plant in Champaign.

Ameren Illinois is working on the corner of 5th and Hill Streets to clear soil that is suspected of having traces of the pollutant coal tar.

Most of the work to remove the soil has taken place underneath a large protective tent, but on Thursday workers dug about three feet of dirt outside of the tent.That sparked concerns from the health care advocacy group, Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

The group said a monitoring device that checks for dangerous chemicals went off, raising the possibility that nearby communities might be at risk.

Sean Powers/Illinois Public Media/A bulldozer removes soil that is suspected of having traces of the pollutant coal tar on the corner of 5th and Hill Streets in Champaign on Thursday, June 9, 2011.
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