SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Cook County’s water management agency will be able to more quickly and efficiently hold accountable those who violate the law by improperly discharging waste into the sewage system—under a new law introduced by state Rep. Norma Hernandez, D-Melrose Park.

“When hazardous waste is being introduced into our sewer system by unscrupulous businesses or other entities, we can’t afford to let that go on any longer than it has to,” Hernandez said. “Having to wait for a letter to arrive in the mail and for the offender to read it takes too long and results in additional contamination and longer and more expensive cleanup.”

Under existing law, when a person or entity was found to be unlawfully discharging waste into the sewer system, notices and orders—including cease-and-desist orders—had to be sent either by certified mail or by official courier.

Hernandez’s House Bill 3133 permits Cook County’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) to implement an electronic reporting system that, once operational, can be used to serve notices and orders to violators via email. It also stipulates that such electronic notices have the same validity and effect as those delivered by mail or by hand.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on July 28 and took effect immediately.

“Protecting the water supply that Chicago families depend on is far too important for authorities to be forced by outdated policies to drag their feet,” Hernandez said. “I’m confident that by updating the tools at their disposal, we’re empowering the MWRD to better protect public health, the environment and our economy from the effects of sewage violations.”

For more information about House Bill 3133 and all Illinois legislation, visit ilga.gov.

Rep. Norma HernandezRep. Norma Hernandez

(D-Melrose Park)
77th District

Springfield Office:
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3374

District Office:
125 N. 19th Ave
Melrose Park, IL 60160