holmes 052423Creates a framework for the Illinois EPA to approve the use of limestone residual for additional means beyond what is currently permitted

SPRINGFIELD – Limestone quarries provide a number of products encountered every day: on our roads, in our homes and businesses, and in agriculture. One such lime product is used to treat drinking water and remove particulates. Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes is the sponsor of legislation to allow the return of the limestone residual back to a limestone mine after that use, projected to save the city an estimated $7 million over 10 years.

“Aurora’s Water Treatment Plan has used limestone in its processes since it was built in 1992, but disposing of the residual product was problematic,” said Holmes (D-Aurora). “The City of Aurora initiated this legislation, as it cost the city quite a bit of money to dispose of it in landfills or to apply it on farmland. Putting that material back into an underground mine cavity 250 feet below ground will save significant taxpayer dollars.”

House Bill 3095 creates a framework to allow limestone residual material to be deposited safely back into unused mines. Under this measure, the Pollution Control Board is tasked with adopting rules to ensure the material is regulated and stored in a manner that best protects the health of the environment.

“For the sake of preserving our natural world, it’s vital that we not immediately dispose of materials so reactively termed ‘waste products,’” said State Representative Barbara Hernandez (D-Aurora), who sponsored the measure in the House. “As we work to build a greener future, it’s time to stop overlooking the potential to reclaim resources that can be valuable to the community.”

A measure in the works for several years with Holmes’ leadership, House Bill 3095 has now passed the Senate.