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Preservationists fight landfill request near Cahokia Mounds

By IL Public Radio

Chicago, Ill. – Hundreds of years ago, a group of Native Americans celebrated the arrival of Spring by gathering atop a man-made hill in what is now Southwestern Illinois. But preservationists now say the visual beauty of that hill could be ruined.

Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville is the site of the largest ancient Indian settlement in the U.S. A few miles away is the Milam landfill.

Waste Management wants to expand the landfill in the direction of the historic site.

David Blanchette, with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, says the Cahokia grounds include Monk's Mound, the former site of ancient ceremonies.

"And we want to make sure that any sort of landfill operation, which by its very nature involves piling mounds of earth up into the air, that that operation would not infringe upon the visual impact created by Monk's Mound."

The Illinois Pollution Control Board is expected to hold hearings on the landfill's expansion.

Meantime, a spokesperson for Waste Management says it took extraordinary care in addressing archeological issues.


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