IERG works and reports on a wide range of environmental matters which mostly fall into one of the categories below – the category descriptions provide only a snapshot of some of the areas that IERG is active:

Air-Related Issues

IERG is continually engaged in efforts to implement and improve Illinois’ air permitting programs.  These efforts range from hosting educational seminars for the regulated community to passing legislation creating a state-based PSD permitting program for new facilities and expansions.  Through this project, IERG also undertakes ongoing initiatives to streamline permitting requirements and regulations.  IERG actively participates in Illinois’ regulatory developments and amendments to its State Implementation Plan for the frequently-changing national ambient air quality standards.  This project functions as a conduit of information regarding efforts by the State to implement its various regulatory and policy programs, including:  monitoring and modeling of air quality, facility monitoring and reporting requirements, field inspections, enforcement initiatives, and others.

Land-Related Issues

This project focuses on ongoing issues in the general area of land pollution control. The initial project dealt with the legislative and regulatory programs to create Illinois’ TACO – tiered approach to corrective action objectives program; amendments to and implementation of that program remain an ongoing process.  Other cleanup regulations, materials management, hazardous and solid waste management and disposal, and recycling and beneficial use of materials all fall within the purview of this project.

Water-Related Issues

This project began with monitoring the Illinois EPA’s Triennial Review process to identify and address potential issues facing the regulated community. Over time, the focus of the Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA has shifted to additional Clean Water Act programs. IERG actively participates in the development of TMDLs, water quality standards, and regulatory relief mechanisms.  IERG continually works to identify and advocate for improving NPDES permitting requirements including broader use of general permits and other streamlining opportunities.  IERG also frequently engages with the Illinois EPA and other stakeholders in amendments to and implementation of Illinois’ groundwater regulations.

Climate Change & Sustainability-Related Issues

This project focuses on ongoing and upcoming issues regarding climate change policy, and industry’s response to public demand for determining facilities’ “carbon efficiency” and “carbon footprint.” Through this project, IERG collects and relays information regarding these matters for the Members’ consideration in making management decisions affecting their operations. The project further serves to allow companies to exchange ideas for improving sustainability initiatives and policies.

Topics addressed include possible carbon controls: greenhouse gas emissions reporting, cap and trade programs, carbon taxes, renewable energy portfolio standards, etc. Further, this project monitors and communicates ongoing activities of initiatives associated with GHG matters, such as those by U.S. EPA and the Illinois EPA.

Legislative-Related Issues

Activities at the State Capitol relating to environmental legislation or legislative initiatives that impact IERG’s Members are monitored and reported under this project.  IERG has also pursued legislative initiatives that make improvements to existing environmental laws or make permitting programs more efficient and effective in the State.

Environmental Justice Issues

This project focuses on ongoing issues related to Environmental Justice. The primary focus of this project is the Illinois EPA’s implementation of its Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy, but it also tracks activities of Illinois EPA’s Environmental Justice Advisory Workgroup, as well as the expanding role of EJ at other state agencies and in legislatively created bodies such as Illinois’ Commission on Environmental Justice.