Illinois lawmakers and environmentalists are teaming up to push for stricter water monitoring on rock quarries that are reused to hold construction and demolition (C&D) debris, a report by the Southern Illinoisan says. House Bill (HB) 1454 pushes for groundwater testing at these sites to ensure they are not contaminated.
According to the report, Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued in a state appellate court that the testing is necessary to protect drinking water. Road builders, engineers and other members of the construction business claim Illinois has sufficient quarry regulations and additional testing would become too costly.
Eighteen organizations have lined up against the measure and the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) has rejected groundwater monitoring once already, the report says.
Clean C&D debris, such as concrete without steel rebar, rock, stone, brick and asphalt from sites where construction is occurring or being razed, can be dumped in old rock quarries with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance. The compliance requires professional examination of the debris before it is placed in the former quarry site and for the debris to come from a site were previous land use was determined as non-toxic.
Compliance is held up by professionals hired by the landowner or hauler involved in the construction or demolition project. The receiving site is also permitted to reject any debris.
According to the report, Will County holds nine quarries within EPA compliance with nine more opening soon. Thirty-four C&D debris quarries are listed in the state.
Dean Olson, director of the resource recovery and energy division for the Will County Land Development Use Department, says in the report that despite arguments of costs, drilling for a monitoring well costs a little more than $2,000 and each sampling costs less than $500.