Fight Against Anonymous EPA Complaints

US - State Senator Frank Watson (R-Greenville) is renewing his fight against anonymous complaints to the Illinois EPA about alleged environmental violations on Illinois farms. The 51st District Senator’s legislation ending anonymous complaints made it over its first legislative hurdle Thursday.
calendar icon 28 February 2007
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Watson went before the Senate Environment and Energy Committee seeking approval for Senate Bill 54 which would require anyone alleging an environmental infraction involving agriculture production facilities to give their name, address and contact information.

“If it’s a serious complaint and someone is concerned about environmental issues in agriculture, to ask them to also put their name to that claim, is not asking too much,” said Watson. “It just gives the process credibility.”

The rash of frivolous complaints against farmers began about two and a half years ago and it continues today.

Carl Bauman, a dairy farmer from Madison County, also testified on behalf of the legislation and repeated the call for improved reporting requirements. Bauman said that currently, there is no system to verify whether or not a complaint comes from a legitimate source or whether it’s from a prankster or troublemaker.

“We hope by adopting this law it will result in a validation process that will make our government more efficient rather than chasing after blind complaints that may not have any basis in truth,” said Bauman.

Source: Decatur Tribune
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