Two bills of interest to Geothermal Industry passed by Illinois General Assembly

Two pieces of legislation of interest to the Illinois geothermal heat pump industry were passed by the Illinois General Assembly in the waning days of the spring session. Of direct interest is passage of HB 308, which would amend the Illinois Water Well Construction Code to allow for permitting and licensing of vertical closed loops by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The GAOI Board of Directors worked with the Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals to make amendments to the proposed legislation during the past two spring legislative sessions.

Under this bill, the IDPH will create an advisory board that will assist the IDPH in developing education and a testing procedure for vertical loop installers. The group will also help grade the exams and adopt rules for the program. The bill passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly on May 18 and was sent to the Governor on June 16. Gov. Quinn has 60 days in which to act on the legislation, or it becomes law automatically. Assuming that the governor signs the legislation, the GAOI will work with the IDPH staff and make recommendations for members to be appointed to the advisory board.

Also of note to the geothermal industry is the passage of HB 2987, which would require state agencies to include a project labor agreement on public works projects that “advance the state’s interests.” The legislation would amend the Illinois Procurement Code and was amended several times in the last month of the session to allow for goals for apprenticeships and work to be performed by minorities and females. The legislation was passed May 25 and sent to the governor on June 23. Gov. Quinn is also expected to sign this legislation.