Island Lake to vote on resolution opposing Oakwood Hills power plant

ISLAND LAKE – Another entity is set to raise opposition against the proposed power plant in Oakwood Hills.

The Island Lake Village Board will vote Thursday evening on a resolution opposing the contentious project, which has already garnered opposition from the School District 46 Board and a residents group.

The primary concern for Village President Charles Amrich was the amount of water the power plant would require.

Developers say about 65 percent of the 1.5 million gallons of water the plant needs each day for cooling would come from wastewater treatment plants with the goal of eventually increasing that to 100 percent.

In the meantime, though, water will be drawn from a deep-water aquifer.

That's an "enormous amount of water" that will affect Island Lake's water source, Amrich said.

He also raised concerns related to quality of life and property values.

The village of Island Lake is located about 2 1/4 miles east of the plant's proposed location southeast of the Route 176 and Valley View Road intersection.

With the prevailing winds coming from the west, the resolution raised concerns about noise pollution and emissions.

The Island Lake Village Board had unanimously opposed another power plant proposed in the area 20 years ago for similar reasons, in particular the amount of water the plant would use, according to village documents.

The board did a lot of research on it at the time, including going to Colorado to look at existing plants that were similar to what was proposed near Island Lake, Amrich said.

"[That plant] just wouldn't have fit and that was smaller," he said. "This is 10 stories tall. That's a big building."

While the plant proposed in the 1990s is smaller than the 430-megawatt, natural gas plant proposed for Oakwood Hills, the new plant runs cleaner.

The noise would be less disturbing than a lawn mower from three feet away as there is a 50-decibel limit, and emissions such as lead compounds and mercury would be “negligible” compared to the other plants, according to developers.

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