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Public Meeting To Discuss Environmental Contamination In Sauget, Ill.

(Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

State agencies from Illinois and Missouri are holding a public meeting Tuesday evening in Cahokia, Ill. to discuss plans to address environmental pollution in and around Sauget, Ill.

Tom Heavisides of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says old landfills and industrial facilities in the Sauget area of St. Clair County have contaminated soil and water.

"There are volatile organics, there are metals, there are pesticides, there are polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” Heavisides said. "So there [were] a variety of materials released over […] several decades of operation."

Heavisides says federal and state agencies have completed a plan to determine the extent of the damage to wildlife and wildlife habitat.

"We've released it to the public, we're giving the public a chance to review and comment on that,” Heavisides said. “Then the next phase is the actual assessment, and then the final phase is we look to prepare what is known as a damage claim to seek compensation for the injury to the natural resources."

The public has until Sept. 6 to submit comments on the assessment plan. Comments can be sent to Tom Heavisides, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, Illinois 62702, or via e-mail to Tom.Heavisides@illinois.gov.

Heavisides says tonight's meeting will provide an overview of the natural resources damage assessment process and details about the planned assessment. The meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Cahokia Village Hall’s training room at 103 Main Street in Cahokia, Il.

Clean-up to address human health risks is taking place through a separate federal process. You can find more information on that here and here.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter@KWMUScience