Pooling seeps of toxic coal ash waste, the red material in the river bank, from Dynegy’s Vermilion Power Plant in Oakwood, Illinois, can be seen leaking into the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River. Springfield, IL — Yesterday, the Illinois Legislature passed SB9, The Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act , which now heads to the Governor’s desk. The groundbreaking bill addresses the many waste pits filled with coal ash, the toxic byproduct of burning coal, located all over the state. Illinois is now the third state in the country to pass legislation providing significant coal ash protections above and beyond federal requirements. The legislation creates a regulatory framework to ensure polluters, not taxpayers, pay for needed closure and cleanup, guarantees public participation and transparency around cleanups for affected communities, and provides Illinois EPA the funds it needs to properly oversee closure and cleanup. It also requires Illinois to put in place standards for coal ash impoundments that are at least as protective as federal coal ash rule requirements, with additional protections against dust and water pollution. SB9 amends the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and was sponsored by State Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) sponsored the […]

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