CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed a new law creating a task force that will strengthen and improve the state’s Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund.
House Bill 3349, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Tyron (R-Crystal Lake) and state Sen. Pam Althoff (R-Crystal Lake), “gives dry cleaners greater flexibility in making their required insurance payments by requiring the Trust Fund to provide policyholders additional notices and a 30-day grace period before their coverage expires in the event of a missed payment.”
The new law is effective immediately.
The Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Task Force’s mission is to make recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly, increasing the Fund’s efficiency and effectiveness in supporting the needs of business owners, and cleaning up past environmental damage caused by dry cleaning. A report by the Task Force will be due Dec. 31, 2014.
The Trust Fund was established by the Illinois Legislature in 1997 to provide financial resources for retail drycleaning facilities to pay for the cleanup of spills and/or leaks from their machines and solvent storage units. It contains three primary programs: a licensing program, an insurance program and a remedial program.
The licensing program is mandatory for all retail drycleaning facilities in Illinois, with license fees ranging from $1,500 to $5,000, based on the amount of solvent purchased at the facility.
The insurance program provides up to $500,000 in pollution liability insurance to pay for contamination cleanup caused by a future spill or leak, while the remedial program pays for the cleanup of existing contamination caused by the spillage of drycleaning solvents.