IEC Legislative Update

Illinois’ 2023 Enviro Legislative Priorities

Every legislative session, IEC works with our over 100 member affiliates and many supportive lawmakers to introduce broad environmental legislative priorities. Below you’ll find Illinois’ Environmental Legislative Priorities for 2023!

After many months of research, priority setting, convenings, and bill drafting, we have adopted a substantial number of important environmental issues in our legislative agenda. New lawmakers and green champions have introduced more environmental bills than ever. We’re also actively tracking over 350 bills that have been introduced that could impact environmental resources, climate change, and public health. As we continue to review bills and proposed amendments, our priorities will reflect developments on the ground at the Capitol. 

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.

Illinois' 2023 Environmental Legislative Priorities

Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice Air Permitting – HB2520 (Harper) / SB1823 (Villanueva) – Legislation written and supported by environmental justice organizations that requires the review of cumulative impact of air pollution sources and the denial of air pollution permits that are unhealthy for impacted communities.

Coal Ash Removal in Waukegan  – HB1608 (Mayfield) / SB1578 (A. Johnson) –  Requires the removal of all coal ash from the Waukegan Electric Generating Station to protect the largest public drinking water supply in the State of Illinois, Lake Michigan. This bill has moved out of committee in the House.

Energy and Climate

Carbon Capture and Storage  – HB3119 (Williams) / SB2421 (Fine)  –  Industry intends to make Illinois a hub for carbon capture and storage to take advantage of the plentiful tax credits now available from the federal government. The people of Illinois need protection from the issues these sites can cause.

Rate Reform and Relief – HB2721 (Davis) / SB1775 (Johnson) – With the rising cost of bills and the lack of true accessibility to the Illinois Commerce Commission, it is essential that people have more affordable bills and that ICC’s mission centers around equity.

State Pension Divestment HB3037 (Guzzardi)  – Divests Illinois’ pension systems from all fossil fuel investments.

Clean Lighting Standards HB2363 (Davis) – Fluorescent lights contain mercury, which is a potent and persistent neurotoxin, by design. Today, non-toxic, highly efficient alternatives are broadly available. This legislation will help Illinois to phase out fluorescent lighting and eliminate a toxin from the waste stream, reduce energy waste, and save consumers money.

Clean Heat – IEC is prioritizing efforts this year to decarbonize buildings by providing opportunities to transition from natural gas.

Transportation

Vehicle Electrification – HB2287 (Moylan) / SB2154 (Castro) – This legislation would require the electrification of school buses. SB1864 (Simmons) / HB3913 (Morgan) would require the electrification of RTA transit buses. HB1634 (Gonzalez) / SB2050 (Villivalam) would require Illinois to adopt clean truck and clean car standards.

Air Pollution Monitoring from Commercial Shipping Facilities – SB2385 (Cervantes) – This legislation will develop air quality monitoring programs for populated areas that are adjacent to commercial shipping facilities, a major source of airborne particulate matter.

Sustainable Agriculture

Healthy Soils & Watershed Initiative – SB1701 (Villivalam) – In order to address the state’s shortcomings in reducing nutrient pollution from agricultural production, this legislation would better coordinate efforts between the Department of Agriculture and Soil & Water Conservation Districts to implement more voluntary conservation practices in priority watersheds. Farmer education at this level is imperative to push Illinois toward a more sustainable farming model.

Reduce Pesticides and Pesticide Exposure – IEC and our partners have introduced several bills to address pesticides, including SB203 (Villa), which increases fines for human exposure to pesticides, SB187 (Villa), which restricts neonicotinoids on state property, HB3800 (Moeller), which labels Dicamba as a restricted use pesticide, and HB2828 (Moeller), which increases notification for spraying by mosquito abatement districts.

Protecting Homeowners from Animal Waste – SB2161 (Koehler) – Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) produce significant amounts of waste and environmental nuisances for surrounding homeowners. Currently, if a local county board votes against an application for a new or expanding CAFO, the Illinois Department of Agriculture can still approve that permit. This bill would make a county recommendation binding.

Improving Local Food Infrastructure – SB2432 (Koehler) – Community-level food producers continue to struggle with start-up costs, while multinational groups dominate the food processing sector. This bill would create a new grant program targeting small-scale processors, whether for meat, grain, or other specialty crops, to create new processing facilities or expand existing facilities, which will improve access to locally made products and decrease the distance from the farm to your table.

Waste and Toxins

Polystyrene Reduction – SB100 (Fine) / HB2376 (Gong-Gershowitz) – This legislation creates a path forward for the elimination of polystyrene (foam) containers from the restaurant industry with reasonable expectations set for low-income businesses. IEC has also introduced legislation to ban plastic bags (SB2211 – Edly-Allen), increase the use of personal containers for takeout (HB2086 – Stava-Murray / SB2212 – Edly-Allen), and require bottle filling stations to be installed at drinking fountains (SB1715 – Glowiak Hilton).

PFAS Reductions – PFAS, often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they are extremely difficult to break down, are present in many items. IEC supports several bills that have been introduced to reduce PFAS in consumer products. SB88 (Fine), which bans PFAS in food packaging, is a priority.

Composting Requirements – Much of the trash that sits in landfills is compostable. To reduce waste and methane emissions, it is past time to increase composting requirements for traditionally landfilled products. SB2155 (Fine) will require methane emission reductions in landfills. HB2569 (Ness) would increase procurement of end-product compost by our government. HB3158 (Cassidy) would provide composting options for burials through natural organic reduction. HB3235 (Harper) / HB3277 (Frese) would increase on-farm composting.

Conservation and Clean Water

Right to Recreate – HB1568 (Yang-Rohr)  Illinois boasts some of the most beautiful and accessible rivers and streams in the midwest. Yet, our right to responsibly recreate on Illinois’ shared rivers and streams is in jeopardy. To preserve access to our natural waterways, this bill would clarify that right for generations to come.

Increased Flood Protection Standards – Illinois has extensive floodplains throughout the state, yet our building code standards are so outdated that residents cannot access FEMA resources. We must modernize our state’s codes to allow residents to access this important service. These bills include SB2368 (Koehler), SB2417 (Halpin), and SB2416 (Halpin).

Water Reuse – HB3046 (Williams) would remove barriers to water reuse.

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