Illinois EPA seeks comment on landfill expansion

By Paul Gorski 

A few years, ago the Winnebago County Board gave the green light to expanding the Winnebago County Landfill at 8403 Lindenwood Road with little consideration of the numerous violations and complaints the landfill had received.

Many people opposed expanding the landfill at the time, only to ultimately be ignored. Now, residents opposing the landfill expansion have a second chance to comment directly to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).

Rachel Stewart, in the IEPA’s Office of Community Relations, is welcoming comments from local residents on the proposed expansion. If you choose to write in opposition, please note specific violations you feel have occurred.

Violations usually fall into one of three categories: air, water or land. Such violations might include: poor air quality, polluted wells or extreme dust or dirt generated by the landfill. It is important to note that, so far as any current reports indicate, these violations are not occurring now; these are only examples, and we cannot endorse anyone fabricating complaints.

A public hearing on the expansion application will only be held if the IEPA receives a substantial number of comments. So, if you want to force a public hearing, now is the time to make your voice heard.

If you wish to comment, for or against, the landfill expansion, contact Rachel Stewart, Office of Community Relations, Illinois EPA PO Box 19506, Springfield, IL 62794-9506; phone 217-782-2224; TDD 217-782-9143; or email

Please reference the Winnebago Landfill facility, log no. 2013-295 in your correspondence. Written comments must be postmarked by April 27.

IEPA’s public notice regarding the proposed landfill expansion:

“The Illinois EPA’s Bureau of Land, Permit Section is reviewing an application for a development permit for a new landfill unit at the Winnebago Landfill facility (Log No. 2013- 295), located at 8403 Lindenwood Road in Rockford. As proposed in the application, the landfill will be called the East Expansion Unit and will be allowed to accept municipal waste and non-hazardous special waste. The East Expansion Unit will be a separate landfill unit, as opposed to lateral expansion of an existing unit, with a waste footprint of about 222 acres and 52 million cubic yards of airspace for waste disposal.

“Winnebago Landfill must obtain a development permit from the Agency before it may begin design of the new landfill unit. The Illinois EPA reviews the application to determine if it meets applicable regulations for design and operation of a new landfill, 35 IAC, Subtitle G. These regulations may be found on the Illinois Pollution Control Board website, Previously, Winnebago Landfill obtained local siting approval for this expansion from the Winnebago County Board.

“The Illinois EPA is accepting comments on the application. Comments must be postmarked by April 27, 2017. Comments, questions and requests for information should be directed to Rachel Stewart, Office of Community Relations, Illinois EPA PO Box 19506, Springfield, IL 62794-9506, phone 217-782-2224, TDD 217-782-9143,

“The repositories for the application are at the Winnebago County Clerk’s office located at 404 Elm Street in Rockford, 815-319-4250, and the Illinois EPA’s office at 1021 North Grand Avenue East, Springfield, 217-782-7027 (please call ahead to assure that someone will be available to assist you).”

Paul Gorski is a Cherry Valley resident who recently won election to the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees.

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