Against Toxicity and Secrecy for Champaign’s 5th and Hill Neighborhood Residents and Community!
Background: The 3.5 acre lot at 5th Street and Hill Street in Champaign is the site of a former manufactured gas plant (FMGP) that operated from 1887 until 1953. The process of producing gas from coal created coal tar and other production wastes that were left on the site, both above ground and below ground, until the closing of the plant. Coal tar and the waste products contain toxic chemicals such polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and more volatile compounds known as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) that move easily through soils and are associated with cancers and other health problems. Information obtained through Freedom of Information Act documents shows that after environmental testing, the soil and shallow ground water at the site and in the neighborhood have been found to be contaminated with benzene and other toxic chemicals.
We support the following goals of 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign:
• To learn the extent and type of toxic contamination in residential areas resulting from the Ameren former manufactured gas plant;
• To ensure the rights and protect the health of any resident or former resident affected by exposure to toxins from the Ameren site; and
• To ensure neighborhood and community input into future development plans for the site and neighborhood at 5th and Hill Streets.
We, the undersigned, call on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, local, state, and federal government officials and elected representatives, and the Ameren corporation, to do everything possible to protect the health of 5th and Hill neighborhood residents and former residents, and the rights of the residents and the community in relation to the toxic site owned by Ameren, located at 5th and Hill Streets in Champaign.
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