WAUKEGAN, Ill. – State Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, is fighting to safeguard fresh water resources, particularly Lake Michigan, with a bill that would require operators of coal-fired power plants to remove toxic byproducts of coal power generation to safe locations—rather than burying it in place using “ponds” which are lined and capped with concrete.

“Lake Michigan is one of the largest remaining sources of fresh water in North America,” Mayfield said. “Allowing power companies to risk that the lake, not to mention nearby groundwater, will be polluted with toxic waste because they’d rather cut corners to save money is simply unacceptable.”

Current regulations allow companies to close coal ash ponds in place by capping them with concrete. Companies claim that this is safe for groundwater and local freshwater features. Mayfield’s House Bill 1608 would require companies to conduct—as well as pay for—safe off-site removal of coal ash instead, eliminating the risk of dangerous water pollution instead of merely reducing it.

“Over and over and over, we hear these companies’ slick PR rhetoric when they attempt to justify whatever expedient they think will save them money, but it’s clear they care far more about their bottom lines than about public health or the environment,” Mayfield said. “We don’t want a low risk of toxic pollution—we want no risk of toxic pollution from these waste ponds. That’s why my bill would make those who created this mess be the ones to clean it up. Slapdash half measures aren’t enough, and there’s no reason for us to listen to handwringing and excuses. Clean water is too important to let these companies get away with passing the buck.”

Mayfield’s office is reachable at 847-599-2800 or 60thdistrict@gmail.com.

Rep. Rita MayfieldRep. Rita Mayfield

60th District
Visit Rep Rita Mayfield’s website

Springfield Office:
519-A  Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1012

District Office:
120 S Genesee St.
Waukegan, IL  60085
(847) 599-2800
(847) 599-2955 FAX