The Sierra Club is blasting the Illinois Pollution Control Board for what it calls permissive emissions standards for a Tazewell County coal fired power plant. The environmental group says the U.S. EPA has designated the air in parts of Tazewell and Peoria Counties as unsafe to breathe because of high levels of sulfur dioxide pollution. The major source in the non-attainment area is the Powerton plant near Pekin.
The Pollution Control Board has accepted a state EPA plan to mitigate the situation that the Sierra Club calls flawed. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups say the averaging method to arrive at a monthly limit for emissions is too lenient. The Sierra Club says it leaves families living near the plant unprotected.
Tracy Fox of the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance says Peoria and Tazewell Counties have been sacrifice zones too long. Fox calls on a state legislative panel called JCAR and the U.S. EPA to step in and deliver more air quality protections.