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Illinois governor signs pollution bill

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Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (File)
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By AP/ KWMU

Chicago, IL – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a bill Sunday that requires residents be notified if they live near polluted sites.

The bill also gives the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency more power to order polluters to clean up the sites and requires the polluters to pay for both the cleanup and the cost of informing residents they live near the sites.

The new law goes into effect immediately.

From now on the Illinois EPA can issue what are called administrative orders that compel responsible parties to clean up sites or contain hazardous contaminants.

Until now, the agency didn't have the authority to issue the orders directly and had to ask the state's attorney general's office to sue or ask for help from federal regulators.

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