022422CT00185SPRINGFIELD – To clean up the ponds of coal ash created by the Waukegan Power Generating Station along Lake Michigan and hold the company accountable for its pollution, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) took action by advancing a measure through the Senate to restore safety to the area and offer environmental protection.

“Lake Michigan is an essential water source to Waukegan and other shore-line communities,” Johnson said. “Waukegan has too long been burdened by environmental hazards, and by requiring the plant to clean up its ash ponds, we are one step closer to reaching environmental justice in the area and progressing to a cleaner, greener future.”

With requirements outlined under the Environmental Protection Act, Johnson’s initiative requires coal combustion residual, or coal ash, stored in ponds on Lake Michigan’s shore at the Waukegan Generating Station to be removed from the site. The plant’s owner must also conduct a site investigation to identify and characterize the scope and extent of coal ash pollution on the site.

Coal production at the Waukegan Power Generating Station is scheduled to end in June 2022.

“Coal-fired power plants have caused irreparable damage to our communities and ecosystems, and the Waukegan site is a pollution nightmare,” Johnson said. “We must make strong efforts to clean up coal ash around Lake Michigan and offer protection to our region’s largest water source from decades of lingering toxins.”

Senate Bill 3073 advanced out of the Senate Friday and moves for further consideration in the House.