Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Strengthen Environmental Protections

New laws ensure efficient recycling, waste management and plumbing practices; protect ecosystems

RIVERWOODS–(ENEWSPF)–July 26, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed four new laws strengthening environmental protections in Illinois. The new laws protect ecosystems while also taking steps to ensure the state has sound recycling, waste management and plumbing practices. Today’s action is the governor’s latest to safeguard the environment.

“We all have a responsibility to do what we can to protect our natural resources for future generations,” Governor Quinn said. “These laws will make sure that we are using the best recycling and waste management practices to preserve natural resources, while also preventing invasive species from invading our ecosystems.”

Sponsored by Rep. Karen May (D-Highwood) and Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest), House Bill 4986 establishes the Task Force on the Advancement of Materials Recycling to review recycling and solid waste management planning in Illinois. Task Force appointees will have two years to analyze recycling and waste management policies, initiatives and funding in Illinois. They will then report their findings and recommendations to the governor and General Assembly. This law will ensure Illinois’ waste management and recycling practices are efficient and identify ways to maximize productive use of waste materials.

HB 4986 also establishes recycling and composting standards that each county waste management plan must meet. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will be authorized to provide grants to counties and large municipalities in order to help them reach these standards. The law is effective Jan. 1.

Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 4496 updates the plumbing standards code with new green technologies and plumbing practices in Illinois. Sponsored by Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) and Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest), the bill requires the Plumbing Advisory Council to submit recommendations for updated standards to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) by Jan. 1. IDPH will then review these recommendations and submit amendments to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules by May 31, 2013. This bill was an initiative of the Lake County Forest Preserve and will ensure Illinois’ plumbing standards better protect public health, more efficiently utilize natural resources and are consistent with leading technologies and methods.

The law is effective immediately.

The governor also signed House Bill 3892 and House Bill 3888, both sponsored by Rep. JoAnn Osmond (R-Antioch) and Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa). HB 3892 allows the Lake County Forest Preserve District to sell a structure on forest preserve land without selling the land itself. The bill also allows the forest preserve to sell surplus property without advertisement if three-fifths of the members of the forest preserve board believe the sale is in the district’s best interest. The law is effective immediately.

HB 3888 requires that any vehicle, seaplane or watercraft in navigable Illinois waters must have all aquatic plants or animals removed from its exterior before being transported away from the body of water. This law will protect aquatic ecosystems in Illinois from invasive species. These species threaten the ecological stability of the habitats they invade, causing severe and permanent damage. Similar laws are currently in place in other Midwest states. The law is effective Jan 1.

Source: illinois.gov