Blog Post - Illinois Environmental Council
Share our Story
Learn about our Company
The Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund engages in education and outreach and provides a forum for environmentalists. The Illinois Environmental Council serves as the environmental communitys eyes, ears and voice in Springfield. The two organizations - collectively known as IEC - work together to ensure a more healthful environment for Illinois residents.
Governor Signs Illinois' First Environmental Justice Act
On Tuesday, August 16, 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law SB2193, a bill that creates Illinois' first Environmental Justice Act. This legislation is the first statute ever passed in Illinois addressing environmental justice. The signing occured at Eden Place Nature Center, a nature center on the south side of Chicago that used to be a vacant lot and the site of illegal dumping.
This new law creates the Commission on Environmental Justice. This Commission will report annually to the General Assembly. The members of the commission will discuss issues of environmental justice and propose policy solutions to legislators. This commission is a first step towards new environmental justice policy in Illinois.
Article IX of the Illinois Constitution gives each Illinoisan the right to a healthful environment. Low income and minority communities in Illinois are disproportionately impacted by harmful pollution. Recent census data shows, for example, alarming rates of asthma in children on the south and west sides of Chicago.
"This new law will facilitate discussion of environmental justice issues in Illinois," said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. "Communities need the opportunity to discuss the siting of new pollution sources and potential health effects."
Applicants can apply to serve on the Commission on Environmental Justice by visiting the Governor's Boards and Commissions website.
The Commission on Environmental Justice will consist of 20 voting members: two members of the Senate, one appointed by the Senate President and one appointed by the minority leader; two members of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the Speaker of the House and one appointed by the minority leader; the Director of the following agencies or his/her designee: Transportation, Aging, IEPA, Public Health, Natural Resources, and Commerce and Economic Opportunity; and 10 members who represent affected communities, business, environmental groups, experts on environmental health and justice, or units of local government. No members of the commission will receive compensation for their service.
The Illinois Environmental Council serves as the eyes, ears, and voice of the environmental community in Springfield. For more information on the Illinois Environmental Council, visit www.ilenviro.org.