Today is an important deadline in the legislative session— committee deadline. After today, bills must have passed out of committee, or they cannot move forward in the legislative process during this session, with very limited exceptions. As a result, it has been an extraordinarily busy week, including one night when thirty bills moved out of the House Energy and Environment Committee.
In other words, this week has been as successful as it has been busy! While some bills will need to be amended, others will head directly to the House or Senate floor for a vote. Regardless, IEC is on top of it, and we’re excited to update you on some of the most important progress we’ve made.
2023 Environmental Legislative Priorities
This Week’s Key Updates
Some highlights for the week include committee passage of the following bills:
Protect Environmental Justice Communities HB2520 (Harper) – Legislation written and supported by environmental justice organizations that reviews the cumulative impact of air pollution sources and denies air pollution permits that are unhealthy for those communities.
Power Plant Demolition Notice HB3595 (Mah) – Requires a more robust public notice and engagement process with a public hearing, state oversight that requires operators to submit an air quality plan for IEPA’s approval, and civil penalties for operators who fail to comply with these requirements.
Source Reduction and Composting – A number of important bills on waste and recycling moved forward too, including SB1715 (Glowiak Hilton) to require that drinking fountains have bottle refilling stations, HB2569 (Ness) to require state and local governments to purchase end product compost, HB2086 / SB2212 (Stava-Murray/Edly-Allen) creating health standards for consumer-owned containers to be used in restaurants and retailers, and natural organic reduction for human burial HB3158 (Cassidy) and SB1563 (Morrison) on standards for microplastics.
Conservation – While the Right to Outdoor Recreation bill (HB1568 – Yang Rohr) will need more work, the Agricultural/Natural Resources Legacy Easement Program bill (SB2011) passed out of committee. This bill creates a state-run program that incentivizes the placing of permanent easements on farmland and natural areas.
Modernize Building Codes SB2368 (Koehler) – Requires local governments to update their building codes to the most modern international standards. This will help save lives and qualify Illinois for crucial FEMA money during natural disasters.
Vehicle Electrification – Several bills on electrification are moving, including SB1769 (Ventura) on government fleet electrification, electric truck vouchers (SB1800/HB3597), and HB2287 (Moylan) would require electric school buses.
IEC is concerned about the following bills that passed out of committee this week as well including:
Plastic Pyrolysis and Gasification HB1616 (Walsh) – This legislation would guarantee a permit for a gasification or pyrolysis facility for plastics. This process converts plastics through a chemical and physical process into several materials, including a type of fuel that is burned. From start to finish, this process uses highly toxic chemicals. It is not recycling.
Hydrogen Tax Credit (SB1711/HB2051) – This bill to advance a hydrogen tax credit was moved out of committee, but we are concerned that it supports all sources of hydrogen and not just the green ones, and there is no impact analysis on environmental justice communities.
Legislation from the week also identified areas where there will be future significant discussions, including carbon capture and storage (HB2205, which IEC opposes and HB3119, which IEC supports) and product stewardship for packaging (SB1555/HB2847).