A proposed landfill expansion near Rockford has cleared a major hurdle. The Winnebago County Board has overwhelmingly approved the project.
The proposal has run into heavy opposition from area residents. In advance of the vote, many of them raised their objections at public hearings, or through letters sent to the county. Opponents worry about the environmental impact. They also say it will create more dangerous truck traffic around the site.
But supporters say the landfill will reach capacity by the year 2020. They say the expansion would provide enough room until 2047. The company behind the project, Rock River Environmental Services, says it will have safeguards in place to protect against things like groundwater contamination
The approval allows the site's operators to prepare a permit application for the Illinois EPA. Officials say it could take a few years to get a decision from the agency.