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Illinois Ban Fails...Illinoisans

Late last month the Environmental Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives failed to move the ban of coal tar pavement sealers...

Late last month the Environmental Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives failed to move the ban of coal tar pavement sealers, HB 4599, forward. With an 8 to 8 vote, the bill was moved to the Rules Committee to most likely die quietly at the end of this session.

How can something so simple, so right, fail to prevail? It's a simple, but effective strategy used by industry. Distract with overstated claims about the safety of your product. Create fear in Republicans by getting powerful business advocates against a ban (e.g., Illinois Chamber of Commerce) even though it wouldn't hurt business. Freeze out Democrats with labor concerns even though the ban would only affect 7 union members in the entire State of Illinois compared to the large number of people exposed to PAHs. You could actually do those 7 a favor if they got out of the coal tar business.

And I do have to congratulate industry for getting the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance* to oppose a ban in Illinois. Can you believe that? If you can convince a school advocacy alliance to support the continued spread of toxins where children are exposed, then you can convince them that coal tar sealants are not bioavailable to humans and that there is a conspiracy against the industry among PAH researchers. Here's the contact info for the representative of this organization, who was present and opposing the legislation:
Susan Hilton
Director/Governmental Relations

Illinois Association of School Boards
217/528-9688, ext. 1135
shilton@iasb.com


Thank you to the sponsor, Representative Laura Fine as well as the co-sponsors Representatives Willis, Cassidy, Gabel, Williams, Chapa LaVia, and Welch.

Thank you to Representative Mike Tryon from McHenry County, Illinois. He was the lone Republican on the Environment Committee to support the ban. Maybe next year he'll be a co-sponsor of this bill.

And thank you to Democrat Representatives that voted in favor of the ban: Representatives Gabel, Jakobsson, McAsey, Nekritz, Sente, Williams and Zalewski. The table below shows how each voted and each name has a weblink to their official page which includes their contact information.
Of course Illinois is the home of the Chicago Cubs with a familiar refrain: "just wait 'til next year."

* The Alliance is a consolidated effort led by the Executive Directors and Boards from four participating organizations: Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), Illinois Association of School Business Officials (Illinois ASBO) and Illinois Principals' Association (IPA). The ability of each of these organizations to influence public policy is enhanced through the cooperative efforts of the Statewide School Management Alliance, which directs all of their efforts at producing legislation that fosters a favorable educational climate in Illinois and promotes effective school board leadership.


And who was in attendance:

Supporters of Coal Tar Sealer Ban

Opponents of the Ban

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Coal Tar Free America: Illinois Ban Fails...Illinoisans
Illinois Ban Fails...Illinoisans
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