The Senate Environment Committee passed legislation (Senate Bill 2492) April 12 that would require on-site groundwater monitoring at clean construction and demolition debris sites in LaSalle County.
State Sen. Sue Rezin is sponsoring the legislation in response to Sheridan Land and Gravel, a company that runs a construction waste fill operation in Sheridan, being found by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) in 2017 to have caused soil contamination at the site. That contamination has now resulted in the groundwater being threatened. The IEPA also determined the company used contaminated soil as fill material on the site.
“This company continues to be an unethical operator in how they run their site in Sheridan, continuing to skirt IEPA regulations,” Rezin said. “Their actions are a direct attack on the groundwater supply in the area. While this company needs to be dealt with separately, my legislation would hopefully prevent another bad actor from doing something similar in LaSalle County – threatening our water supply now and for future generations.”
Rezin’s legislation would require an owner or operator of a clean construction or demolition debris fill operations in LaSalle County to conduct groundwater monitoring on the property and submit the results of the test to the IEPA. This includes two upgradient and two downgradient monitoring wells at each site. In addition, the legislation would require operators throughout the state to file a $50 million remediation bond with the IEPA.
“The bonding is critical in that it would require these bad actors to set aside money so they cover the costs of any clean-up,” Rezin said. “That’s important because right now, they can just declare bankruptcy and force the IEPA, aka, the taxpayers, to pay to clean up their mess – a mess they illegally created. It doesn’t get any more critical than protecting our water supply and the health and safety of our citizens. This legislation sends a strong message to Sheridan Sand and Gravel and other companies with a stern warning – you will prove you are following the rules, and if you don’t, you will be responsible to pay for any contamination you cause.”
Rezin’s legislation now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
Sen. Rezin discusses SB 2492 at the Senate Environment Committee April 12. Joining Rezin were Don McNelis of Sheridan (left) and Wendy Greenrod of Sheridan (center). State Rep. David Welter (R-Morris) was also present (behind McNelis and Greenrod), as was State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria), who is facing a similar situation in his district (far right).