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August 16, 2001

Governor Ryan Signs Legislation Allowing Park Districts to Give Land to the State

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan signed Senate Bill 915 today that will allow park districts to give land to the state for public use.

"This bill closes a loophole in current state law," Gov. Ryan said. "Presently, park districts can sell or lease property to another unit of government, but do not have the ability to give the land to the state."

The legislation requires a district to have permission from the state prior to donating the land. Any property donated must be contiguous to a state park, at least 50 acres in size, be free of any known environmental hazards and not be located within a city's limits. The land would revert back to local ownership if the property is used for anything other than park or recreational purposes.

SB915 was sponsored by Senator George Shadid, D-Edwards; and Representatives Ricca Slone, D-Peoria Heights; Michael Smith, D-Canton; and Sidney Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove.

Since the creation of the IEPA more than 30 years ago, some progressive companies and local governments have demonstrated their willingness and ability to assume leadership roles in finding better, more efficient ways to achieve environmental protection. The extended RIPP will allow qualified participants to enter formal agreements with IEPA to pursue sensible practices that improve environmental performance.

To qualify, participants must not be currently subject to enforcement, have a history of violations, have failed to apply for and obtain any needed permits or have failed to pay any required fees or penalties.

"The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recognizes that the regulated community is often in the best position to know what works best," said IEPA Director Renee Cipriano. "By giving them the flexibility they need to use that knowledge, we can achieve our goal of environmental protection while removing burdensome requirements."

To date, the 3M Company at Bedford Park , and Nestle Company based in Jacksonville have signed and completed Environmental Management System Agreements with the Agency under the program.

SB 861 was sponsored in the House by Representatives Rosemary Mulligan, R-Des Plaines; Thomas Holbrook, D-Belleville; Andrea Moore, R-Libertyville; Elizabeth Coulson, R-Glenview; Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa; and in the Senate by Dave Sullivan, R-Mt. Prospect.


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