SPRINGFIELD -Thursday, the state's Pollution Control Board rejected proposed emergency rules on handling and storing Illinois petroleum coke. Opponents warned that enacting Governor Quinn's proposals could have spontaneously shut down the state's pet coke industry.
"By rejecting the emergency action, the Illinois Pollution Control Board understood that there is no immediate health threat or environmental emergency to be dealt with. Current city, state and federal environmental regulations are as stringent as ever, and industry across the state will continue to follow the law," Mark Denzler, vice president and COO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association said.
"We are ready to work with policymakers and determine how we can continue to be the best neighbors we can be. I thank members of the Pollution Control Board, our labor friends and the many legislators who also opposed this costly and burdensome government overreach."
Quinn's proposals were in reaction to a plant in south Chicago that stirred outrage from neighbors in August when a windstorm picked up dust from a local pet coke storage pile and spread on a nearby neighborhood. The company was cited, storage corrections were made and there has been no other similar EPA complaints throughout the state since then.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says it's "reviewing alternative options," but gave no specifics.
Tom Wolf, executive director of the Energy Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce agreed with Denzler.
"Today, logic and law prevailed. As a result of the Illinois Pollution Control Board's wise action, job creators across Illinois can now offer their full cooperation in the traditional rulemaking process so guidelines governing the petroleum coke and coal industries are based on science, public input and decades of experience, not hysteria," Wolf said.