|Toxic coal ash waste leaks into the Vermilion River (Prairie Rivers Network photo)|
|Chicago Tribune graphic; click on the image to enlarge it.|
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency cited Dynegy for pollution at the site in 2012; the case is still open. Because the plant has been closed for so long, the ash pits are exempt from Obama-era federal coal ash disposal regulations. President Trump reconsidered the regulations partly because of lobbying from Dynegy and other energy companies, Hawthorne reports. Dynegy has proposed capping the waste pits to prevent rain and snowmelt from washing coal ash into the water, but the river banks are eroding up to three feet per year, making that plan unlikely to work.