June 20, 2013

Passing the buck

Passing the buck
Board hands waste pit vote to commissoners
By Suzanne Werre
BHG News Service

The McLean County Planning and Zoning Board decided to leave it up to the McLean County Commissioners whether or not to allow Great River Energy to modify one of its inactive waste pits into a special waste landfill that would accept oil field waste.
Monday afternoon, after about two hours of testimony from GRE representatives and local citizens, the board voted 4-3 to send the issue to the county commission without a “yes” or “no” recommendation coming from the zoning board.
Written comments will be accepted by the board until July 8, and the issue will go before the commission at its July 16 meeting.
The proposed site is northwest of Underwood, and would be accessed off of U.S. Highway 83, with an estimated three trucks per hour using the route.
While some of the residents in attendance expressed concerns about the increased traffic and safety issues, more concerns were raised about the possibility of excess radioactivity and leaching into the ground water.
Great River Energy’s Diane Stockdill explained the proposed plan and answered questions from the board, trying to reassure  members of the safety of the plan.
“We’re not taking radioactive material, so just put that to bed. That is not true.” she said. “We’re not taking hazardous waste; that’s not true. “
Planning and Zoning board member Pam Link said she made the motion to send the issue to the county commission (of which she is also a member) without a recommendation from the zoning board because she felt that several of the board members had still not made up their minds about the issue.

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