By Jessica Cilella
Source Daily Herald
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has cleared Prospect Heights and Mount Prospect of allegations they violated a permit governing the construction of Levee 37 along the Des Plaines River at the height of last month’s flooding.
Des Plaines officials had accused the two communities of illegally closing a gap in the levee during the April 18 flood, making problems in their city worse.
But a letter from the IDNR to Des Plaines acting Mayor Mark Walsten states Prospect Heights and Mount Prospect did not violate the Levee 37 permit by installing temporary “jersey barriers” along a 600-foot gap in the levee. Although the permit states the gap cannot be closed until other mitigation is in place — namely the Heritage Park Reservoir — the jersey barriers were “not a complete closure of the height of the gap,” according to the letter,
“Temporary flood fighting does not constitute completion of the levee as described in the IDNR permit, and therefore the IDNR does not intend to cite Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights for any violation of the permit,” the ruling states.
The IDNR also found that any additional flooding resulting from the towns’ actions was mitigated by significant flood storage capacity in the unfinished Heritage Park Reservoir, meaning there was no negative effect to Des Plaines.
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