Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation to help prevent coal ash from polluting the National Scenic Middle Fork River near Danville and other areas threatened with coal ash.
‘’Coal ash is a public health issue and a pollution issue, and the state of Illinois is taking action to keep communities safe,’’ said the Governor. ‘’This new law will help protect our precious groundwater and rivers from toxic chemicals that can harm our residents,’’ the Governor added.
‘’With Senate Bill 9 becoming law, Illinois clearly demonstrates that we are not content to simply respond to environmental catastrophes after they occur, but instead that we will stand up and protect our homes and families from those risks,’’ said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), (shown here) who sponsored the bill in the Senate.
‘’This legislation represents a significant step toward cleaner water and air for communities living near coal ash throughout the state,’’ said Representative Carol Ammons (D-Champaign). ‘’I want to thank Governor Pritzker for protecting taxpayers and our public health because those who create the mess, should clean it up,’’ added Representative Ammons.
Senate Bill 9 prohibits coal ash discharge into the environment, requires IEPA approval for permitting and closures of coal combustion residual (CCR) surface impoundments such as landfills and piles, guarantees financial assurances from CCR owners or operators for future closure or maintenance costs, and directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to propose new rules to the Pollution Control Board around the regulation of coal ash in the state, which it will then implement within 12 months.
The new law also directs new funds into the Environmental Protection Permit and Inspection Fund to help IEPA run the program.