The Sierra Club, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Prairie rivers Network and Citizens Against Ruining the Environment filed a complaint to the Illinois Pollution Control Board, accusing a coal burning plant of coal ash pollution.
Powerton is one of four plants named in a complaint, all four plants are owned by Midwest Generation.
"Their own monitoring has shown that they are releasing contaminants in violation of their permits for the coal ash landfills," said Joyce Blumenshine, Chairperson of the Heart of Illinois Group Sierra Club.
"More pollutants are going into our land and that leeches through from rain and from other things and goes through the ground into our ground water," Blumenshine said.
The complaint says the groundwater contains unsafe levels of arsenic, boron, lead and other heavy metals. Midwest Generation said it's facilities are inspected on a regular basis, that there is no risk to the area's water supply because there are no wells next to the site. The company said the groundwater pollution could be from other plants in the area, or plants that operated there years ago. But Blumenshine said Powerton has work to do.
"We are asking the power plants to clean up what they're doing and all I want them to do is follow the law. We want them to abide by their current regulations and ensure that the public health and safety and our environmental health for future generations is protected," Blumenshine said.
Midwest Generation says it's still waiting for the complaint to be legally served. Once it gets the complaint from the Illinois Pollution Control Board it says it will have a better idea of what to do next.
In a statement Midwest Generation said, "We have not been served with the complaint, but from what we have seen, it raises nothing new. We will be prepared to defend our operations vigorously against parties who have long sought any avenue to try to close down coal-fired power plants."