Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3508
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Full Text of HB3508  103rd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/17/2023, by Rep. Robyn Gabel


415 ILCS 5/3.560
415 ILCS 170/40 new

    Amends the PFAS Reduction Act. Provides that the amendatory Act may be referred to as the PFAS Pathways Act. Contains legislative findings. Requires the Environmental Protection Agency to: (1) require select wastewater treatment plants' to report the results of analysis of raw influent sewage, treated sewage effluent, and sewage sludge residuals for PFAS; (2) produce and publish on the Agency's website a report on the eventual dispersion of PFAS through the treatment process; and (3) review the Agency's database of wastewater treatment plants, determine methods of processed sewage sludge disposal, and estimate the annual quantities of processed sewage sludge disposal on land, whether or not it is disposed of in-state or out-of-state. Requires the Prairie Research Institute's Illinois Sustainable Technology Center to: (1) review the list of contaminants of emerging concern in a specified report and determine what other chemical compounds have an environmental impact similar to PFAS; (2) determine appropriate methods for destroying PFAS; and (3) estimate the financial impact on wastewater treatment plants in this State from the methods for destroying PFAS. Allows the Agency to propose, and the Pollution Control Board to adopt, rules establishing maximum concentrations of PFAS that may be contained in an Exceptional Quality biosolid or sewage sludge that is to be applied to land. Makes a conforming change in the Environmental Protection Act.

LRB103 30961 CPF 57541 b





HB3508LRB103 30961 CPF 57541 b

1    AN ACT concerning safety.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. This Act may be referred to as the PFAS Pathways
6    Section 5. The Environmental Protection Act is amended by
7changing Section 3.560 as follows:
8    (415 ILCS 5/3.560)
9    Sec. 3.560. Exceptional Quality biosolids. "Exceptional
10Quality biosolids" means solids that:
11        (1) are generated from the advanced processing of
12    publicly-owned sewage treatment plant sludge;
13        (2) do not exceed the ceiling concentration limits in
14    Table 1 of 40 CFR 503.13 and the pollutant concentration
15    limits in Table 3 of 40 CFR 503.13;
16        (3) meet the requirements for classification as Class
17    A with respect to pathogens in 40 CFR 503.32(a); and
18        (4) meet one of the vector attraction reduction
19    requirements in 40 CFR 503.33(b)(1) through (b)(8); and .
20        (5) meet the requirements of any rule established
21    under subsection (d) of Section 40 of the PFAS Reduction
22    Act.



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1(Source: P.A. 99-67, eff. 7-20-15.)
2    Section 10. The PFAS Reduction Act is amended by adding
3Section 40 as follows:
4    (415 ILCS 170/40 new)
5    Sec. 40. PFAS; wastewater treatment plants; sewage sludge;
6reporting requirements.
7    (a) The General Assembly finds that:
8        (1) On March 16, 2022, the Agency announced the
9    completion of statewide sampling to investigate the
10    prevalence of PFAS in drinking water, and further review
11    of its findings suggest that Illinois data show PFAS to be
12    more prevalent in neighboring states.
13        (2) In this State, 126 out of 1017 (12.4%) of the
14    community water systems sampled had detectable levels of
15    PFAS in finished drinking water. Of the 126 community
16    water systems with confirmed PFAS detections, 58 (nearly
17    half) of those systems had PFAS concentrations that
18    exceeded health advisory guidance levels issued by the
19    Agency. In this State, 65% of community water systems rely
20    on groundwater for their source of water.
21        (3) PFAS is an acronym that refers to a class of per-
22    and polyfluoroalkyl substances used widely in consumer and
23    industrial products. Some of the more popular PFAS uses
24    are as nonstick coatings on cookware and food packaging,



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1    as a stain or water repellent on clothing and in
2    cosmetics, and as firefighting foams. PFAS cannot
3    naturally degrade in the environment, cannot be seen or
4    smelled, and, once found, is difficult to be removed. PFAS
5    can be removed from water by activated carbon and other
6    technologies and can be destroyed using incineration.
7        (4) This amendatory Act of the 103rd General Assembly
8    will result in information that may describe a potential
9    pathway for PFAS to contaminate State groundwater and
10    determine appropriate technology to reduce that
11    contamination.
12        (5) Known human health effects of PFAS include the
13    following:
14            (A) High blood cholesterol.
15            (B) High blood pressure.
16            (C) Decrease in human fertility.
17            (D) Inflammation and ulcers in the colon and
18        rectum.
19            (E) Kidney and testicular cancer.
20            (F) Thyroid disease.
21        (6) The "Contaminants of Emerging Concern Report",
22    submitted to the General Assembly in 2020 and prepared by
23    the Prairie Research Institute, provides helpful
24    information on PFAS and numerous other unregulated
25    compounds. The report, initiated under House Bill 5741
26    from the 100th General Assembly, focuses on the occurrence



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1    and fate of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) in
2    wastewater treatment plants in this State. With respect to
3    PFAS, the report contains little available data on the
4    concentration of compounds in the raw influents and
5    treated effluents at wastewater treatment plants in this
6    State. No data in the report identifies PFAS in sewage
7    sludge, which is the solid residual remaining after
8    reclamation of the water in sewage. The report identifies
9    treatment techniques for PFAS, finding incineration to be
10    "very effective" for contaminated soils. This State banned
11    the incineration of most PFAS compounds in Public Act
12    102-1048. Other remediation techniques it identifies as
13    "effective" include (i) ion exchange for drinking water,
14    groundwater, landfill leachate, and wastewater and (ii)
15    in-place thermal treatment for soils. Other treatment
16    techniques for PFAS were found to be somewhat effective or
17    not effective.
18        (7) According to the Agency and the United States
19    Environmental Protection Agency, more data and data
20    analysis are needed before specific limits and standards
21    can be adopted for discharging liquid effluents containing
22    PFAS into groundwater and surface water. No limits are
23    being considered for PFAS in sewage sludge. The same is
24    true for the disposal of solid waste containing PFAS in
25    landfills. The United States Environmental Protection
26    Agency is currently conducting a risk assessment of some



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1    PFAS compounds that may lead to the consideration of
2    specific numerical standards.
3        (8) Eventually, action must be taken to protect this
4    State's groundwater and surface water resources from the
5    nearly irreversible impacts of PFAS. Removal of PFAS from
6    environmental media, while possible, is difficult and
7    costly.
8        (9) The impact of PFAS in sewage sludge is unknown. In
9    this State, sewage sludge is processed in various ways at
10    wastewater treatment plants to reduce water content,
11    volatile acids, and pathogens to achieve a satisfactory
12    level of organic stability. The final product is
13    beneficially used by most State wastewater treatment
14    plants as an agricultural soil amendment to increase
15    organic content and improve tilth. It is not a fertilizer,
16    but it can be enriched with nitrogen, phosphorus,
17    potassium, and other desirable minerals to become a viable
18    fertilizing product. Regardless of how sewage sludge is
19    processed, PFAS and other similar substances may remain in
20    the final product and, when spread on land, remain in the
21    soil to contaminate groundwater, and raise concern over
22    the uptake of contaminants by plants and animals, thereby
23    allowing PFAS to enter the food supply.
24        (10) Agency rules restrict processed sewage sludge,
25    commonly called biosolids, from being applied to land near
26    surface streams and lakes. This protects surface water



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1    from being directly contaminated by rainfall. However,
2    there are no restrictions protecting groundwater from the
3    application of biosolids, and PFAS in processed sewage
4    sludge can leach downward into the water table.
5    Groundwater often percolates horizontally at a down
6    gradient and can eventually find its way to surface water
7    in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.
8        (11) Many states, including this State, have
9    established or are considering the establishment of
10    drinking water standards for PFAS. The state of Michigan
11    has established a limitation on the concentration of PFAS
12    that may be contained in sewage sludge that is applied to
13    land. Finding high levels of PFAS in cow milk led the state
14    of Maine to impose a moratorium on the land application of
15    processed sewage sludge in March of 2019. Many other
16    states are taking action to manage or limit the
17    application of processed sewage sludge containing high
18    levels of PFAS.
19    (b) The Agency shall:
20        (1) add a PFAS analysis requirement in National
21    Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits by
22    December 31, 2023, for larger wastewater treatment plants
23    with industrial sources to report the concentrations of
24    PFAS in wastewater treatment plants' raw influent sewage,
25    treated sewage effluent, and sewage sludge residuals for
26    PFAS;



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1        (2) based on the reported data for the years 2024,
2    2025, and 2026, pursuant to paragraph (1), produce and
3    publish on the Agency's website by December 31, 2027, a
4    report on the dispersion of PFAS through the wastewater
5    and sewage treatment process; and
6        (3) review the Agency's database of wastewater
7    treatment plants, determine methods of processed sewage
8    sludge disposal, and estimate the annual quantities of
9    processed sewage sludge disposal on land, whether or not
10    it is disposed of in-state or out-of-state.
11    (c) The Prairie Research Institute's Illinois Sustainable
12Technology Center of the University of Illinois shall:
13        (1) review the list of contaminants of emerging
14    concern in the "Contaminants of Emerging Concern Report",
15    submitted to the General Assembly in 2020 and prepared by
16    the Prairie Research Institute, and determine the other
17    chemical compounds that have an environmental impact
18    similar to PFAS, including, but not limited to, chemical
19    compounds that do not naturally degrade in the environment
20    or that degrade in such a way as to produce other chemicals
21    that have an environmental impact similar to PFAS;
22        (2) determine appropriate methods for destroying PFAS;
23    and
24        (3) estimate the financial impact on wastewater
25    treatment plants in this State from the methods for
26    destroying PFAS determined under paragraph (2).



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1    (d) The Agency may propose, and the Board may adopt, rules
2establishing maximum concentrations of PFAS that may be
3contained in Exceptional Quality biosolids or sewage sludge to
4be applied to land. In this subsection, "Exceptional Quality
5biosolids" has the same meaning as defined under Section 3.560
6of the Environmental Protection Act.