Contributed article by the Illinois House Republicans.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) joined State Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian) for a press conference at the Illinois State Capitol to discuss a bipartisan resolution that creates a Coal Ash Task Force. The task force will be formed if the bill becomes law and their work will begin immediately.
Representative Avery Bourne is Chief Co-Sponsor of the legislation, House Joint Resolution 47, which creates the Illinois Coal Ash Task Force. The goal of the task force will be to bring legislators, coal company representatives, environmental experts, and the public together to study the effects of coal ash in areas across the state, including at the locations of Crown Mine II in Virden and Crown Mine III in Farmersville.
“I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation and will work with the bill sponsor so we can start the process of developing a statewide policy for dealing with coal ash. With this Task Force, we’ll be bringing everyone together to formulate the best plan of action to responsibly store the coal ash remnants and alleviate environmental damage, ensuring public safety,” said Representative Bourne.
Bourne noted that her office has previously been in contact with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Mines and Minerals to ensure that both Crown sites are being carefully monitored. Two main concerns for the public are the possibility of air and ground water contamination and the agencies assured Bourne that they are monitoring levels and will take the appropriate steps to mitigate high levels, should they arise.
Membership of the task force would include two Senators and two Representatives selected by the legislative caucus Leaders, an IEPA representative, a representative of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, a representative from environmental groups, and a representative from the business community.