Waukegan Generating Station has 15 groundwater monitoring wells, 15 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between October 25, 2010 and July 06, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of boron, arsenic, manganese, sulfate, lithium, antimony, chromium, cobalt, nitrate, selenium, cadmium and thallium.Site description
Midwest Generation's Waukegan Generating Station is located on the shore of Lake Michigan northeast of Waukegan. The site is bordered by undeveloped land, industrial land, Lake Michigan, and residential properties. The power plant uses two lined ash ponds that cover approximately 25 acres. Ash appears to have been used in the construction of the pond dikes, and there is an abandoned ash disposal area immediately west of the ash ponds that still contains an unknown amount of coal ash. Routine groundwater monitoring began on-site in 2011. As of 2009, eight potable or industrial wells were located within 2,500 feet north and west of the ash ponds.
In October 2012, Midwest Generation entered into a Compliance Commitment Agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) concerning violations of groundwater standards at Waukegan Generating Station. Among other requirements imposed by this agreement, the facility's ash ponds are not to be used as permanent disposal sites and Midwest Generation had to obtain an Environmental Land Use Control designation at the site. The agreement did not include establishing a Groundwater Management Zone.
For more information about groundwater monitoring at coal waste disposal sites in Illinois, see the 2011 EIP and Prairie Rivers Network's report Illinois at Risk.
For more information about plant coal ash impoundments, visit the Prairie Rivers Network's Coal Ash Map.