Senator Johnson


SPRINGFIELD – Ponds of coal ash created by the Waukegan Power Generating Station have polluted the Lake Michigan shore for decades, and State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) advanced a measure to offer restoration and protection.

“Coal-burning plants have caused irreparable damage to our communities and ecosystems,” Johnson said. “We must make strong efforts for coal ash clean-up around Lake Michigan and protect our region’s largest water source from lingering toxins.”

With requirements outlined under the Environmental Protection Act, Johnson’s initiative requires the removal of coal combustion residual, or coal ash, stored in ponds on Lake Michigan’s shore at the Waukegan Generating Station. The plant’s owner must also conduct a site investigation sufficient to identify and characterize the scope and extent of all coal ash placed, stored or disposed.

Coal production at the Waukegan Power Generating Station is scheduled to end in June 2022.

“Illinois has committed to transition to clean energy,” Johnson said. “Community leaders in Lake County have advocated for several years to address the dangerous environmental and public health impacts of the coal-based Waukegan Power Generating Station, and today we take action.”

Senate Bill 3073 moves for further consideration before the full Senate.