Unclean bill

Three votes by Brad Burnzynski during the last General Assembly were so bad and so immoderate that I am at a loss to understand them. He voted against allowing the IEPA and the Attorney General to require that convictions of hazardous waste dumping on property by its owners be recorded on the property deed (HB2462.) He voted for lessening the safeguards that require bankers and developers to take the responsibility for cleaning up contaminated property before it can be sold (HB3605.) It is called the “Bankers’ Bailout Bill.” Our community’s experience with pollution at Davis Memorial Festival Park makes us understand that such a vote is putting the problem in the taxpayer’s lap.

Burnzynski voted in favor of lessening environmental protection criteria in the matter of low-level radioactive waste affecting where it could be stored (HB3435.) This was done in anticipation that Martinsville, Illinois would be a low-level radioactive waste site. We now know that after millions of dollars were given in incentives to Martinsville, the forced resignation of a past director of the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety and accusations of improper editing of the original reports on whether that city would be a safe low-rad waste dump site, Martinsville has been rejected.

Our safety is preserved only for a short time. The wasted millions in incentives are lost, and we must find another site to fulfill our agreements at the federal level. In the meantime, HB3435 waters down the definition of low level radioactive waste. There are implications that this lessened protection could find Illinois the low-level radioactive waste dump for the nation. As taxpayers and environmentalists, we have to keep up our guard against legislators such as Burnzynski, who would take the short cut that leads to worse trouble.

Betty Johnson

Rockford Resident