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Rezin seeks groundwater monitoring at debris sites

Sheridan landfills inspire legislation

Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, discusses proposed legislation Thursday at the Senate Environment Committee to monitor clean construction or demolition debris landfills in La Salle County. Joining Rezin were Don McNelis, of Sheridan (left), and Wendy Greenrod, of Sheridan (center). State Rep. David Welter, R-Morris, was also present (behind McNelis and Greenrod), as was State Sen. Chuck Weaver, R-Peoria, who is facing a similar situation in his district (far right).
Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, discusses proposed legislation Thursday at the Senate Environment Committee to monitor clean construction or demolition debris landfills in La Salle County. Joining Rezin were Don McNelis, of Sheridan (left), and Wendy Greenrod, of Sheridan (center). State Rep. David Welter, R-Morris, was also present (behind McNelis and Greenrod), as was State Sen. Chuck Weaver, R-Peoria, who is facing a similar situation in his district (far right).

The Senate Environment Committee passed legislation Thursday that would require on-site groundwater monitoring at clean construction and demolition debris sites in La Salle County.  

State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, is sponsoring Senate Bill 2492 in response to Sheridan Land and Gravel, a company that runs an operation in Sheridan.

The site was found by the Illinois EPA in 2017 to have caused soil contamination at the site. That contamination has resulted in the groundwater being threatened. The Illinois EPA also determined the company used contaminated soil as fill material on the site.  

The two sites, 105 S. Weinsland and 2672 W. 4201st Road, along the Fox River, have had and continue to receive, multiple violations from Illinois EPA inspectors over the years. Violations range from unfiled required administrative paperwork and truck loads found to be contaminated with barium, calcium, chromium, copper, cobalt, iron, lead and zinc to solvents found on the property and wells located on the properties.

“This company continues to be an unethical operator in how they run their site in Sheridan, continuing to skirt IEPA regulations,” Rezin said in a press statement. “Their actions are a direct attack on the groundwater supply in the area. While this company needs to be dealt with separately, my legislation would hopefully prevent another bad actor from doing something similar in La Salle County — threatening our water supply now and for future generations.”  

Rezin’s legislation would require an owner or operator of a clean construction or demolition debris fill operations in La Salle County to conduct groundwater monitoring on the property and submit the results of the test to the Illinois EPA, according to a press release.

This includes two upgradient and two downgradient monitoring wells at each site. In addition, the legislation would require operators throughout the state to file a $50 million remediation bond with the state’s EPA.   

“The bonding is critical in that it would require these bad actors to set aside money so they cover the costs of any clean up,” Rezin said. “That’s important because right now, they can just declare bankruptcy and force the IEPA, aka, the taxpayers, to pay to clean up their mess — a mess they illegally created.

“It doesn’t get any more critical than protecting our water supply and the health and safety of our citizens. This legislation sends a strong message to Sheridan Sand and Gravel and other companies with a stern warning — you will prove you are following the rules, and if you don’t, you will be responsible to pay for any contamination you cause.”  

Rezin’s legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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