Rep. Marron Speaks on his support for SB 9: Coal Ash Pollution Prevention

State Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian) has signed on as a chief co- sponsor along with Rep. Ammons (D-Champaign) to SB 9, legislation introduced by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), which establishes procedures to prevent further coal ash pollution.

“This is a bill that goes hand in hand with my bipartisan resolution creating a Coal Ash Task Force,” Marrons said. “Coal ash and how we will deal with it is a major issue impacting my district because of the environmental hazards it poses to natural resource treasures like the Vermillion River across this State.”

Coal ash contaminants can include arsenic, barium, boron, chromium, iron, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel and sulfate, which are known to cause birth defects, cancer and neurological damage in humans and can harm and kill wildlife, especially fish.

Representative Marron has filed House Joint Resolution 47 to create the Illinois Coal Ash Task Force. Marron says the task force’s goal will be to bring legislators, coal company representatives, environmental experts, and the public together to study the effects of coal ash on the Vermilion River and the rest of the state.

“Coal plants across the state of Illinois are going to need a set of rules and guidelines to help alleviate environmental damage and encourage safe and responsible storage of the coal ash remnants from plant operations,” Marron said. “There are approximately 84 sites where coal ash is stored in Illinois, so coming to the table to discuss a clear and concise set of guidelines to curb the future pollution is imperative.”

Rep. Marron said, “Although there will be a significant financial component assessed to the owners of the 84 CCR sites across the state, we have to be able to hold the businesses accountable to keep the taxpayers of my district and the state of Illinois protected from potentially massive financial and environmental repercussions.”

The owner of a CCR surface impoundment must submit to the IEPA for approval a closure alternatives analysis that describes all closure methods being considered before beginning closure.

SB 9 has cleared the Senate, passed out of the House Energy and Environment committee with bipartisan support, and awaits action in the House where it sits on 2nd reading.