Coal ash pollution from Dynegy Midwest Generation's Old East Ash Pit seeping through riverbanks along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River. Photo by Eco-Justice Collaborative. April 2016.
Illinois Coal Ash Rules Now In Place
Thanks to you, as of April 21, 2019, Illinois residents will be safer and our surface and groundwaters will be cleaner! New regulations are now in effect in Illinois, regulating the operation, clean up and closure of toxic coal ash waste facilities that are polluting groundwater and rivers throughout our state.
Engaging in Political Processes Can Bring about Change
Your efforts made all the difference. Your letters, petitions, phone calls and meetings raised up the issue of coal ash pollution in Illinois. Your advocacy for the protection of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River helped prompt State Senator Scott Bennett, along with Representatives Carol Ammons and Mike Marron to lead the passage of the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act of 2019.
The Act called on the Illinois EPA and Illinois Pollution Control Board to develop detailed rules for regulating coal ash throughout our state. Your comments and testimony during the public hearings held before the IPCB helped shape the details of the final rules. Thanks in part to your efforts, coal ash regulations now include provisions:
- Requiring industry permit applicants to evaluate multiple alternatives for closure, including removal of the ash.
- Making all reports and documents used in the permit application available for public review.
- Providing opportunities for public involvement in the decision-making process through pre-application meetings, public hearings and public comments with applicant and agency responses.
- Requiring owners with approved closure plans to set aside funds as financial assurance that cleanup and closure will not become the responsibility of the public.
The implementation of coal ash rules represents a victory for those, like you, who have fought to protect our precious water resources. It is also a testament to the power of public organizing and advocacy. Without your voices, the Coal Ash Pollution Protection Act and the rules that it mandated may never have happened.
Today ... we salute you!
Pam and Lan Richart, Co-Directors