This letter is in response to a Chicago Sun-Times editorial this week regarding notices of alleged “violations” issued to permitted clean construction or demolition debris (CCDD) facilities. The overwhelming majority of notices sent by the Illinois EPA were for the detection of naturally occurring elements such as iron and manganese that are found at these concentrations in uncontaminated soils throughout Illinois. The naturally occurring elements cited in these notices DO NOT constitute a risk to the environment.

By law, CCDD is limited to uncontaminated materials which may only include broken concrete, bricks, rock, stone, reclaimed asphalt pavement or clean soil generated from construction activities. The CCDD program is an environmentally sound, common-sense management tool that benefits Illinois taxpayers by holding down construction costs and preventing needless filling of landfills. The program saves taxpayers millions in additional costs for public works projects while it decreases the number of heavy trucks on congested roadways.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

In 2010, when the Illinois legislature passed the current law related to CCDD, the legislature charged the Illinois Pollution Control Board with the responsibility of adopting rules that were protective of the environment. The board adopted strong front-end requirements such as environmental and engineering review, soil analytical testing and on-site screening of every CCDD load – making Illinois’ regulations the most stringent in the country. As part of this process the board twice conducted thorough hearings, accepted testimony and received documentation on the issue of mandating groundwater monitoring at these facilities. Based on the evidence, the board twice rejected mandating such monitoring and the Illinois appellate court recently confirmed their decision.

The operators I represent are committed to the responsible placement of CCDD in accordance with their permits and the rules adopted by the Board. The addition of costly groundwater monitoring mandates for these facilities has been determined unwarranted and should not be further legislated.

Dan Eichholz
Executive Director
Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers

The hypocritical ‘party of no’

I seem to recall that when Barack Obama was president Republicans not only were the “party of no,” but they even refused to meet with him and other Democrats. They constantly threatened to shut down government operations. Now that the Democrats do not want to meet with Trump and refuse to go along with hurting the middle class and the poor — just so the rich and corporations can get fat tax breaks—  they are being vilified.  How hypocritical.
Regina Gomory, Crystal Lake

Democrats and evangelicals

I disagree with Rev. Jackson’s comment that Evangelical Christians are “rabid Republicans.”  The fact is that both the Republican and Democratic parties have policy platforms that are, in some ways, contrary to biblical teaching.  One big difference is that the Democratic Party continues to move farther away from biblical teaching, so much so that Evangelicals often feel threatened by the party, and by the perceived loss of religious freedom. Perhaps if the Democratic Party were a stronger supporter of religious freedom, they would find more support by evangelicals.

Howard Klopp, Norwood Park