IEC Legislative Update

Illinois’ 2021 Enviro Legislative Agenda

Every legislative session, IEC works with our over 100 member affiliates and many supportive lawmakers to introduce a broad environmental legislative agenda each year. Today, we are proud to announce Illinois’ Environmental Legislative Agenda for 2021!

Things are heating up in Springfield as the legislative session finally picks up steam and important deadlines approach.  After eight months of research, priority setting, convenings and bill drafting, we have adopted a substantial number of important environmental issues in our legislative agenda. We’re also actively tracking over 300 bills that have been introduced that could impact environmental resources, climate change and public health.

Read on to see the list, ask your lawmakers to support them, and help us out by doing your part when we alert you to especially important opportunities for action. You can find all of our active action alerts in the Action Center here on our website.

Energy and Climate

Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) (Williams/Castro) HB804/SB1718 — The Clean Energy Jobs Act would lead Illinois to 100% clean energy by 2050, decarbonize our power sector, reduce pollution from the transportation sector and ensure job training and equitable clean energy development– all while lowering bills, and preventing fossil fuel bailouts. 
Status Update: CEJA passed out of the House committee on a vote of 18-11 last week, a critical step forward as it advances to the House floor. 

Stopping Pro-Fossil Fuel Legislation — IEC has been working to prevent bills sponsored by fossil fuel companies and large utilities from advancing in the legislative process. These measures would raise shareholder profits at the expense of ratepayers and would continue or expand investment in dirty energy sources.

Solar Rights (Didech/Johnson) HB644/SB215 — We are working with the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Vote Solar, and members of the industry to break down barriers that restrict solar energy at condominiums. This bill was just heard in House committee and passed.

Underground Natural Gas Storage Leaks (Morgan) HB705 — Requires that owners and operators of facilities install and maintain monitors and water-gas separators while providing routine inspections of properties, furnish lodging when gases reach explosive levels, and bring in licensed engineering firms to inspect the facility’s wells when verified leaks occur.

Clean Air, Liveable Communities

Environmental Justice Permitting — IEC will be working with the Chicago Environmental Justice Network on legislation that addresses loopholes in permitting that currently exacerbate pollution in burdened communities.


Lead Service Line Replacement (Robinson/Bush) HB3739/SB556 — Requires every municipality to have a plan in place for replacement of lead service lines, as well as a robust inventory with prioritization of vulnerable communities, and rate relief through a Low Income Water Assistance Program. The House bill will be moved out of committee this week procedurally as we continue stakeholder conversations.

PFAS: Toxic Water (Ellman) SB561 — We have introduced legislation that would phase out Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foam in the long-term, while banning it for training purposes and establishing greater transparency about its use in emergency situations.

Coal Tar Disclosure (Fine) SB692 — Requires disclosure of the use of coal tar pavement sealant, a known carcinogen, on public school and school district properties as well as on state agency properties.

Groundwater Pollution at Quarries (Avelar/Ellman) HB653/SB565 — IEC and ELPC reintroduced legislation to require groundwater monitoring at clean construction of demolition debris (CCDD) sites. This measure successfully advanced out of the House Energy and Environment Committee on a vote of (17-10-2).

Agriculture and Local Food

Farming as a public service (West) HR 5 — Urges Congress to add farming as a public service to support debt forgiveness for young farmers.

Good Food Purchasing Policy Task Force (Harper) HR148 — Creates a task force made up of procurement heads of most state agencies, along with private partners in the sustainable/equitable agriculture movement, to examine current food procurement and find what changes are needed to encourage more locally sourced food that is both sustainable and equitable.

Ban Pre-Treated Seeds in Ethanol Production (Guzzardi) HB1847 — Bans the use of pretreated seeds (i.e. coated with pesticides) in the production of ethanol. This bill passed out of House Environment on a vote of (17-12).

Local Food Producers (Guzzardi/Koehler) HB2615/SB2007 — Expands the current cottage food laws to allow direct-to-consumer sales, including sales online within Illinois. This also clarifies the type of products which can be produced, namely canned items, as long as they follow USDA health guidelines. HB2615 advanced out of the House Consumer Protection committee on Monday on a vote of 6-0 with an agreement to bring an amendment back to committee.

Home Garden Protections (Harper) HB633 — Prevents units of local government from enacting regulations that have the practical effect of precluding gardening on a person’s own property.


Partners for Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Act (Villivalam/Vella) HB1792/SB2474 — In order to address the state’s difficulties with implementing the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, this legislation would add implementation of the strategy to the purposes of the Partners for Conservation Fund (which must be re-authorized this session) and provide additional fiscal resources to agencies implementing the strategy.

Bird-Friendly Buildings (Morgan) HB247  — This initiative will help promote building design standards that protect birds.


IDOT Performance-Planning (Buckner) HB253 — Requires the Department of Transportation to establish and implement a transportation performance program for all transportation facilities and project selection processes. This legislation passed unanimously out of the House Transportation committee.

These bills we introduced but will not be heard this session:
Water as a Human Right (Bucker/Aquino) HB632/SB1645
  — This legislation would put into place a statewide moratorium on water shutoffs until Jan 1, 2023, preventing households from being shut off for inability to pay.

Clean Transportation for All (Yingling) HB245 — Revises the alternative fuel rebate program to incentivize electric vehicles for low-income communities.

Car Seat Recycling (Hirschauer) HB1733 — Requires producers of car seats to be responsible for developing programs that provide recycling opportunities.

Illinois Drug Take-Back Act (Gong-Gershowitz) HB1780 — Protects Illinois wildlife, waterways and drinking water by establishing the Illinois Drug Take-back program with funding from pharmaceutical companies.

Bring-Your-Own Container (Stoneback) HB647 — Expands the ability of consumers to bring their own containers into retail establishments by setting health standards.

Bottle Deposit Bill (Ramirez) HB1799 — Mirroring successful programs in Michigan and other states, this measure will require a $0.05 deposit value on all beverage containers, for redemption by consumers. Revenues generated from the measure would go to IEPA and the beverage distributor.

Ban on Bobcat Hunting (Didech/Holmes) HB1827 — Prohibits the hunting of bobcats in Illinois.

Protecting Pollinators (Guzzardi/Villa) HB3429 — Sets reasonable restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids pesticides on State property, limiting it to use in structural pest control and mitigation of emerald ash borer. This also sets these types of pesticides as “Restricted Use”, meaning that they can only be purchased and used by licensed pesticide applicators.

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