DOUGLAS COUNTY -- People are fed up with pollution and say they won't stop fighting until something is done. Neighbors say waste is being dumped near their homes and it's tainting their water and air.
They say it's happening at Murdock Mines, about 45 minutes south of Champaign. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley hears what neighbors say is wrong.
This mine shut down in the 90's. State law requires it be cleaned up and returned to farmland. A resource company was given permission to dump waste into the mine in 2004, but people nearby say it's making life unbearable.
"It got to the point where I couldn't even keep my windows open."
Zala Swigart built this home with her husband five years ago. She thought it'd be a peaceful area to live in. She soon figured out it was anything but.
"I had a couple tell me they went by and it made them so sick, they had to pull off on the side of the road."
Swigart lives directly across from the mine. Instead of watching sunsets from her porch, she takes pictures of trucks dumping human waste.
"I'm upset about it and I want something done."
Swigart hasn't had a drink from her faucet in years. She and neighbor Jeri Luth are scared they'll get sick. They say pictures like this are proof.
"All of that stuff has to be seeping into our soil. What kind of long-term effect is it going to have on our health? On our well-being?"
Alpena Vision Resources was approved by the Department of Natural Resources to dump coal ash, water sludge and sewage solids from all over Central Illinois into the mine.
"I have little 2-year old nieces and a 4-year old niece. I want to have them over to my house and let them play out in my yard. I'm afraid to."
Swigart is fed up. She spends most of her spare time calling the EPA.
"I told him I would call him every single day until something was done."
Her fight got the attention of Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Madigan filed a complaint against Alpena seeking to have its permits taken away.
"I won't rest until something is done."
Chapin Rose is holding a public meeting for people in the Murdock-Newman are to voice their complaints. It's Thursday night at the Murdock Community Center.
Original: 10:45 am
DOUGLAS COUNTY -- An advocacy group wants to close the Murdock Mine near Newman. Prairie Rivers Network says the mine is being used as a landfill dumping waste not approved for the site.
The group is taking its complaint to the Illinois Pollution Control Board Wednesday in hopes of getting the mine's waste disposal permits withdrawn and the company fined. The hearing started about noon.