AURORA, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, to ensure state water supplies remain free from contamination, was recently signed in to law by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
“There have been an increasing number of cities in Illinois and nation-wide that have discovered their drinking water is contaminated and unsafe to drink,” said Hernandez. “It is imperative that we are working to prevent all possible ways in which hazardous materials could get in to our drinking water.”
Hernandez co-sponsored House Bill 137, which amends the state Environmental Protection Act, stating that water supplies and bridges must undergo routine paint maintenance as an effort to reduce the risk of water contamination. Previous law did not enforce routine maintenance, but rather allowed bridges and water supplies, including fire hydrants, water utility pumps, pipes and tanks, to deteriorate over time without upkeep. Many of these infrastructures are painted with lead paint that could leak in to the water. This law also expands this provision to all bridges and water supplies whether or not they are fully funded through the state. The law will go into effect Jan. 1st, 2020.
“We can not wait until it is too late when it comes to the safety of our drinking water,” said Hernandez. “With this new legislation, we will not only ensure that our infrastructure is held up to standards, but also prevent dangerous chemicals, like lead, from entering our water supply. I commend the governor for signing this important legislation to help keep Illinois residents safe and healthy.”