holmes 030520SPRINGFIELD – Limestone quarries provide a number of products encountered every day: on our roads, in our homes and businesses, and in agriculture. One such lime product is used to treat drinking water and remove particulates. Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is the sponsor of legislation to allow the return of the limestone residual back to a limestone mine after that use, projected to save the city an estimated $7 million over 10 years.

“Aurora’s Water Treatment Plan has used this process since it was built in 1992, but disposing of the residual product was problematic,” Holmes said. “The City of Aurora initiated this legislation, as it cost the city quite a bit of money to dispose of it in landfills or to apply it on farm land. Pumping that material back into an underground mine cavity 250 feet below ground will save significant taxpayer dollars.”

Senate Bill 3291 would amend the Environmental Protection Act to require the IEPA to grant Aurora a modification to its existing permit to construct and operate a system of disposal of lime residual, and authorize the disposal from the water treatment plant into an existing mine cavity.

The bill passed on second reading in the Environment and Conservation Committee, with the expectation of refining it with more input from IEPA before the full Senate will vote on it.

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