As part of the process, Rochelle Waste Disposal must hold public hearings. At the meetings a group called the Concerned Citizens of Ogle County as well as the general public challenged the proposal.
The plan is to build a larger landfill on Route 38 and Madison Road in between Creston and Rochelle. In order for the expansion, nine requirements set by the IEPA addressing issues like safety and traffic have to be met. Concerned citizens say not all of them do.
Both the village of Creston and Rochelle have wells within miles of the landfill expansion. Developers say they will use various liners to keep the waste in. But the citizens say they worry that in time that lining will leak. If that happens they say their drinking water could be contaminated forever.
For the past couple of days the RWD has given testimony that the landfill will not cause groundwater contamination. The group says they have done extensive testing and that the landfill will be safe for generations to come.
While money isn't a criterion, it's up for debate. The landfill increase will bring about $4.2 million a year and some resident's say money is all RWD is concerned about. RWD says right now they can't afford to keep the landfill open and not charge citizens for garbage pick-up. If the expansion isn't approved the fees will start.
If the landfill expansion is approved, the new site will open in 2005 a time when many other Chicago landfills are expected to close. RWD says that could bring in additional revenue.