Air pollution rule change to move forward, preventing sanctions from federal government

Air pollution rule change to move forward, preventing sanctions from federal government

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – A proposed change in state air pollution regulations will move forward despite an objection from a legislative oversight committee, allowing the state to avoid federal sanctions that otherwise would go into effect next month.

The change, which came from the Illinois Pollution Control Board and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, repeals existing language that allowed factories, refineries, power plants and other facilities to exceed their emission limits during shutdowns, startups, and malfunctions.

The previous rules also gave the owners of those facilities a certain level of immunity from civil lawsuits for exceeding their emission limits during those events.

The change was necessary because of recent court decisions that prompted the U.S. EPA to change its interpretation of the federal Clean Air Act, a program that is largely administered and enforced by state and local governments.

Illinois was first informed about that change in 2015 and was told, along with many other state and local governments, to repeal those regulations and submit new state implementation plans, or SIPs. Illinois did not immediately act on that notice, however, and two years later, the then-new Trump administration put the change on hold.

The Trump administration issued new guidance in 2020 saying such provisions were permissible in some circumstances, but when Democrat Joe Biden came into office in 2021, his EPA administrators reversed course again. In January 2022, Illinois was told for a second time to submit a new SIP.

That notice, known as an “SIP call,” became effective Feb. 11, 2022. From that date, Illinois and other jurisdictions subject to the SIP call had 18 months to come into compliance before the first set of sanctions would take effect – drastically stricter emission limits on new or significantly altered facilities.

After 24 months of noncompliance, the state’s access to federal highway funding would have been tightly restricted.

The process by which the state agencies proposed the changes, however, upset many industrial firms as well as lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, or JCAR, a 12-member bipartisan body that has oversight authority on administrative rules.

That’s because even though the agencies were told in January 2022 that they needed to make the change, they did not officially publish the rule change until November of that year, forcing them to use a “fast-track” approval process that greatly limited the time allowed for public comment and negotiations.

JCAR considered the proposed rule change at its monthly meeting in June but postponed the rulemaking for 45 days to give the regulated industries more time to discuss the issue with lawmakers, the agencies and U.S. EPA.

Meeting again Tuesday in Chicago, the committee voted to issue a formal objection to the rule change based on the agencies’ use of the fast-track approval process. That does not stop the rule change from going into effect, but it does require the agencies to submit a response within 90 days.

“Recognizing that while we can’t go back and address what’s already occurred, we are going to ensure that the steps are in place so that the next time there is a rule like this – which there will be because of the nature of our federal implemented programs – that we have a structure that doesn’t lend itself to that the type of concerns that brought us here last month,” IEPA deputy director James Jennings said in response to lawmakers’ questions at the hearing.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Leave a Comment





Local News

GSWNH_HolidayInnRear_070524

Migrants coming to Ford City

Spread the love

Spread the love. Nearly a thousand coming this month to Holiday Inn . By Tim Hadac The Pritzker Administration is converting a vacant hotel in the Midway area to a shelter expected to house as many as 950 migrants. The action is occurring quickly, with migrants expected to move in this month. In a press…

CTAlogo

CTA hiring means more rail service

Spread the love

Spread the love. Orange Line sees 11% jump . From staff reports The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that because of what they described as continued, aggressive recruiting, hiring and training efforts, it has added 8.5% more scheduled rail service in recent weeks for a total of 9% more scheduled service added since April 2024.…

the leadershop logo

LeaderShop Alumni Association to host peaceful rally during Thursday board meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe LeaderShop Alumni Association, a group of volunteers, previous staff members, former board members, funders, donors, and stakeholders who are community minded and energized by the mission of The LeaderShop, will host a peaceful rally in support of change to current leadership for the nonprofit agency. The rally will be held during The…

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and…

The Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. (Photos by Enrique Reyes, Courtesy of the Oak Lawn Public Library)

Oak Lawn Library hosts Local Author Showcase

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Oak Lawn Public Library opened its doors to the summer season and to its local authors. The library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. “Thirty authors, two hours, and…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound July 10, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Palos Heights native Patrick Bertotelli won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4 in New York. (Photo courtesy of Major League Eating)

Palos Heights native is top dog in famous eating contest

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva At one time, it may have seemed impossible for Palos Heights native Patrick Bertoletti to win the Nathan’s Hog Dog Eating contest. After all, Joey Chestnut was roasting opponents year after year by winning 16 titles since 2007 and had a streak of gobbling up championships eight years in a…

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is hoping a mobile DMV will return to the village after the July 15 visit was sold out. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

DMV sellout could mean a return visit in Palos Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Palos Park Clerk Marie Arrigoni announced that appointments for the one-day mobile Department of Motor Vehicles visit to Village Hall are sold out. That’s bad news for those residents who were looking forward to taking care of DMV business right there in town. But it was good news to Mayor…

Alan Morales

LeaderShop director faces more charges from former staffers

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The LaGrange-based LeaderShop, a social service agency that recently lost $300,000 in funding, is facing new charges of a toxic work environment, bullying, and inappropriate behavior by Executive Director Alan Morales. Since the story was first published in the Desplaines Valley News on June 24, at least six women have…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty presents a copy of the proclamation honoring the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club for 100 years to President Gary Benedik. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Mustangs honored for 100 years of service

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It’s not often a service organization hits 100 years. But there are not many service organizations like the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club. “We don’t know of any other organization anywhere around here, maybe in the city of Chicago, but maybe around here that has made it 100 years. It’s quite…

Neighbors

GSWNH_HolidayInnRear_070524

Migrants coming to Ford City

Spread the love

Spread the love. Nearly a thousand coming this month to Holiday Inn . By Tim Hadac The Pritzker Administration is converting a vacant hotel in the Midway area to a shelter expected to house as many as 950 migrants. The action is occurring quickly, with migrants expected to move in this month. In a press…

CTAlogo

CTA hiring means more rail service

Spread the love

Spread the love. Orange Line sees 11% jump . From staff reports The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that because of what they described as continued, aggressive recruiting, hiring and training efforts, it has added 8.5% more scheduled rail service in recent weeks for a total of 9% more scheduled service added since April 2024.…

the leadershop logo

LeaderShop Alumni Association to host peaceful rally during Thursday board meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe LeaderShop Alumni Association, a group of volunteers, previous staff members, former board members, funders, donors, and stakeholders who are community minded and energized by the mission of The LeaderShop, will host a peaceful rally in support of change to current leadership for the nonprofit agency. The rally will be held during The…

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and…

The Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. (Photos by Enrique Reyes, Courtesy of the Oak Lawn Public Library)

Oak Lawn Library hosts Local Author Showcase

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Oak Lawn Public Library opened its doors to the summer season and to its local authors. The library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. “Thirty authors, two hours, and…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound July 10, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Palos Heights native Patrick Bertotelli won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4 in New York. (Photo courtesy of Major League Eating)

Palos Heights native is top dog in famous eating contest

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva At one time, it may have seemed impossible for Palos Heights native Patrick Bertoletti to win the Nathan’s Hog Dog Eating contest. After all, Joey Chestnut was roasting opponents year after year by winning 16 titles since 2007 and had a streak of gobbling up championships eight years in a…

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is hoping a mobile DMV will return to the village after the July 15 visit was sold out. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

DMV sellout could mean a return visit in Palos Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Palos Park Clerk Marie Arrigoni announced that appointments for the one-day mobile Department of Motor Vehicles visit to Village Hall are sold out. That’s bad news for those residents who were looking forward to taking care of DMV business right there in town. But it was good news to Mayor…

Alan Morales

LeaderShop director faces more charges from former staffers

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The LaGrange-based LeaderShop, a social service agency that recently lost $300,000 in funding, is facing new charges of a toxic work environment, bullying, and inappropriate behavior by Executive Director Alan Morales. Since the story was first published in the Desplaines Valley News on June 24, at least six women have…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty presents a copy of the proclamation honoring the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club for 100 years to President Gary Benedik. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Mustangs honored for 100 years of service

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It’s not often a service organization hits 100 years. But there are not many service organizations like the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club. “We don’t know of any other organization anywhere around here, maybe in the city of Chicago, but maybe around here that has made it 100 years. It’s quite…