PEORIA – Legislation designed to clean up coal ash, the toxic byproduct of burning coal and power plants, and prevent local water sources from being polluted was signed into law today.
Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) was one of Senate Bill 9’s chief-cosponsors.
“Someone needs to be responsible for cleaning up the toxic waste around coal power plants, and it shouldn’t be local taxpayers,” Koehler said. “I commend the advocates who made this bill happen and the governor for making this a priority.”
A report issued by environmental groups in late 2018 found that the amount of coal ash in groundwater around the E.D. Edwards Coal Plant south of Peoria was 18 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard.
The Peoria area is home to three coal plants total: E.D. Edwards in Bartonville, Powerton in Pekin and Duck Creek near Canton.
Information and Congressional petition on "The Dead Zone" available (copy paste) at:
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Part of the Gulf Dead Zone: LWV Upper Mississippi River Task Force Update
The Dead Zone is the area expanding from the discharges of the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico where water oxygen levels are absent or so low that fish and aquatic life must leave the area or die. The area is larger than the state of New Jersey. Much of the Dead Zone is the result of nutrient pollution caused by high levels of common fertilizers like nitrogen and phosphorus.
An excellent series of articles researching this issue is listed at the recent LWV UMR blog https://www.lwvumrr.org/blog/frustrations-lack-of-progress-environmental-groups-are-maddened-but-epa-is-pleased
More information about the LWV Upper Mississippi River Task Force is at https://www.lwvumrr.org/ and a full listing of their blog posts is at https://www.lwvumrr.org/blog
Lack of progress in reducing the size of the Dead Zone is noted. Goals set in 2008 have not been reached and the Dead Zone continues to increase in size.
Voluntary compliance for nutrient pollution reaching the Gulf is contrasted to the mandates set by the U.S. EPA for clean-up of nutrient pollution in Chesapeake Bay, which did make significant reductions of the problem in the targeted time-frame.
You can reduce your part of the Dead Zone by buying locally grown organic produce, meat and eggs from small farms and by buying phosphate free dish detergents and soaps and purchasing only phosphorous free yard products. Find out what your lawn service uses and insist on phosphorous free lawn care.
The Peoria LWV is a member of the LWV UMR. Peoria Board members Elaine Hopkins and Joyce Blumenshine attended their pre-conference session held last summer in Chicago at the National LWV Convention. Additional background on nutrient pollution and tips for what you can do are at https://www.sierraclub.org/illinois/our-work/water/nutrients
LWVGP is a member of the UMR ILO
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