Biss backs bipartisan effort to keep groundwater safe
All the clamor over a lack of agreement on a state budget has mostly kept a bipartisan effort to ensure the safety of Illinois' drinking water silenced.
Democrats and Republicans in the state House of Representatives have signed onto legislation intended to hold unlined quarry owners and operators accountable for cleaning up and monitoring toxic debris that could infect groundwater sources in many communities in the Chicago metro area and around the state.
Of note, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) has vowed to vote for House Bill 3056.
HB3056 is the brainchild of Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena), who saw a need to address the issue after concerns arose regarding potential public health risks in the wake of work done for the state's failed bid to lure the Olympics to Chicago in 2016.
The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation that led to the dumping of debris from construction operations for the Games into unlined quarries in the belief that the costs of disposal would be alleviated. Environmental experts at the time voiced their concern that contaminants from the debris would seep into aquifers and poison drinking water. The compromise legislation included groundwater monitoring provisions, but they have not been enforced.
HB3056 would put such monitoring measures into place.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner also supports the legislation, which McDermed introduced earlier this legislative session. It is currently under review by the House Rules Committee.
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3706 West Dempster Street
Skokie, IL 60076