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Measures regulating ‘forever chemicals,’ increasing EPA fees advance

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(The Center Square) – An Illinois lawmaker wants more transparency on what products contain PFAS, commonly known as “forever chemicals.”

State Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, has introduced House Bill 4627, which would require the Illinois EPA to create an interstate clearinghouse and establish a data collection interface for PFAS. In addition to drinking water, PFAS are found in everyday products such as carpeting and non-stick cookware.

“Those are the chemicals that have recently been in the news and there is a concern that PFAS is harmful to human health,” Moeller said during a House Energy and Environment Committee hearing last week.

Marcus Brandstad, director of state affairs with the American Chemistry Council, said there is no need for the legislation because it is already being done at the federal level.

“The work that’s being laid out in this bill is already being done by the federal government, which the state of Illinois could absolutely take advantage of,” said Brandstad.

Moeller said she is aware of opposition to the measure and said she plans to work with those who have concerns, including the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Corn Growers Association.

The House Energy and Environment Committee advanced the measure, which awaits further floor action.

A separate measure in House Bill 4651 would increase an EPA fee in Illinois by a large amount. Some see it as another way to drive businesses out of the state.

State Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, has introduced a measure that would increase filing fees to the Illinois Pollution Control Board from $75 to $250.

“We are increasing fees on industrial emitters that wish to be exempt from current regulations,” said Williams.

State Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, said it is laws like this that make Illinois less business-friendly.

“I have a hard time increasing fees on businesses and we’re trying to attract and keep businesses in Illinois and I don’t think this is helpful,” said Caulkins.

The bill advanced out of the House Energy and Environment Committee and may be taken up in the General Assembly this week. Legislators return Tuesday.

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