Friday, April 13th is the final deadline for bills to get out of committee in both chambers. It was a mixed week in Springfield for IEC: while many of the proposals we support advanced towards passage, others very bad proposals moved forward despite our strong opposition. Bills that do not get out of committee by deadline generally need an extension or they will be unable to move forward.
Read more about many of these proposals in the list below, and make sure to take action to let your legislators know your position on these bills.
IEC’s Deadline Week Priorities
HB5293-Weakening Endangered Species Protections – OPPOSE
HB5293 removes the need for a state permit to proceed with projects that harm endangered species and ties Illinois to federal permits. This is especially dangerous as the Trump administration works to roll back wildlife protections. It also adds two members of the Farm Bureau to the Endangered Species Protection Board. This has always been a science-based board and the addition of industry interests without scientific qualifications would be extremely problematic for wildlife protection. This bill passed House Agriculture Committee on Monday with a roll of 10-2-1, meaning that this bad bill will proceed to a vote. It’s vital that legislators hear from their constituents on this legislation, so please take action to OPPOSE HB5293 here as soon as you can.
SB2213- Protecting Illinois’ Environmental Protections From Federal Rollbacks – SUPPORT
This bill aims to preserve the status quo for Illinois’ current safeguards at this time of great uncertainty at the federal level. The Illinois Baseline Protection Act would prevent the weakening of any current Illinois standard below the federal standard already in place. Sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss, this bill passed out of Labor Committee on Wednesday on a 10-3-5 vote.
SB3080/HB5044 – Lead in Drinking Water – SUPPORT
A few weeks ago, our bill requiring all lead service lines to be replaced in Illinois passed out of Senate committee. A recent Chicago Tribune article found that 70% of homes in the Chicago area tested had lead present. Read more here and then contact your legislator here.
HB5564- Protecting Property Owners
This bill would protect property rights and restore the legislature’s authority to determine who may exercise quick-take authority. This is especially helpful in the fight against oil pipelines. HB5564 unfortunately failed to pass out of subcommittee in the House Judiciary Civil Committee on Tuesday morning. We will continue to work on this issue at the local level, and pursue landowner protections.
SB3214 – Pollinator-friendly Solar Fields
Sponsored by Senator Jason Barickman, SB3214 would encourage pollinator-friendly solar fields, which will incentivize habitat conservation. IEC worked with ELPC to pass this bill out of Senate Environment & Conservation Committee yesterday.
This bill would help with enforcement against environmental polluters by increasing transparency around violators and making it easier for enforcement actions to be referred to the Attorney General’s Office. With an agreement to come back to committee with an amendment, this bill passed out of Senate Environment. Read more about the current IEPA’s lack of environmental enforcement here.
SB3056- Groundwater Monitoring for Quarries
Requiring clean construction demolition debris quarries to implement groundwater monitoring has been an IEC priority for years. Last November, the Illinois EPA issued 74 violation notices for high levels of heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and pH, demonstrating the need for action. IEC and our partners have worked to pass SB3056 out of Environment & Conservation Committee and we are working on an amendment.
HB5741 – Emerging Chemicals of Concerns
Sponsored by Representative Robyn Gabel, HB5741 would assess treatment technologies for reducing and removing certain pollutants from wastewater treatment facilities. This legislation passed unanimously out of House Environment, and is important for clean water statewide.
HB5198 – Conversion of Plastics to Fuel
IEC opposes this legislation, which would give a permit exemption to facilities that convert waste plastics to fuel, despite the fact that burning plastics can release dioxins and other contaminants. In addition, this turns a recyclable product into a waste that can never be used again. This bill unfortunately passed out of House Environment Committee, and we will continue to fight against its passage on the House floor.
SB3174- Transparency in Fracking
IEC has worked with Senator Koehler and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to increase transparency in hydraulic fracturing operations. SB3174 would require greater reporting for wells, and passed out of Senate Environment Committee on a 6-2 vote.
HB4790 – Use of Compost in Transportation Projects
This legislation, sponsored by Representative Carol Sente, is an initiative to increase the use of compost in transportation projects at the state. The bill requires IDOT to conduct a pilot program using compost-amended soil. The measure passed 12-1 in House Transportation Committee, and we feel positive it will pass in the House.
HR818 – Food Waste Audits at State Facilities
Working with partners SCARCE and Seven Generations Ahead, IEC has introduced this resolution that would require audits at state facilities to assess food waste. Highlighting food use and waste is an important educational step in beginning to reduce waste and improve sustainability.