Thursday, Nov. 18

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Drained state funds lead to landfill closure problems in Pekin     Send a link to a friend

[NOV. 18, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Preventing pollution from improperly closed landfills and restoring environmental funding that was raided by the governor for the state budget is the aim of legislation sponsored by state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington.

House Bill 911 requires the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to monitor the status of performance bonds or other security that landfill owners must have to operate a solid waste disposal site.

"House Bill 911 is the result of a situation at a Pekin landfill, which has some pollution problems because the owner did not properly close it. The owners' security bond is bad because the financial company has been de-listed from the U.S. Department of Treasury," Brady said. "Unfortunately the IEPA cannot fix the problem because the governor raided the state's Post-Closure Landfill Fund -- as well as several other environmental funds -- to try and balance the state budget."

The legislation states that if a bond or other security is determined to be insufficient to ensure the closure and post-closure care of a landfill, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency must notify that operator of the site and require the operator to obtain additional security.

House Bill 911 also protects the solvency of the state's Landfill Closure and Post-Closure Fund.

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Brady says that if a landfill owner does not have a sufficient bond to properly close the site, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is to use any unencumbered moneys in the Landfill Closure and Post-Closure Fund for bringing the landfill into compliance.

"There was no money to help pay for the proper closing of the Pekin landfill because that fund was raided by the governor to prop up the state budget. Under House Bill 911, if the fund has no unencumbered moneys, the IEPA must ask the General Assembly for the amount needed to bring the landfill into compliance," Brady said.

Approved by the Senate Executive Committee Nov. 16, House Bill 911 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

[Illinois Senate Republican Caucus news release]

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