Wheeler Legislation to Help Fox Waterway Signed By Governor

Last week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation sponsored by State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake), House Bill 770. The legislation improves the Fox Waterway Agency’s ability to ensure the safety, cleanliness and usability of the waterway along the Fox River and Chain O’Lakes.

“The Fox River and Chain O’Lakes are beautiful natural resources that also drive critical economic activity for our area,” said Wheeler. “Through House Bill 770, the Fox Waterway Agency will not only be better equipped to protect these natural resources, but it will also lead to improved benefits for the businesses and communities who rely on our beautiful waterway.”

Under House Bill 770, which State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) sponsored in the Senate, the Fox Waterway Agency (FWA) will acquire certain public lands from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Through this land conveyance process, the FWA will be able to construct a site to process dredged sediment from the waterway. The dredged sediment will not only ensure the long-term environmental health of the waterway, but the processed sediment will then be able to be utilized by local businesses and communities to benefit the local economy.

"The rich soils and sediments that the Fox Waterway Agency removes from our waters belong back on farm fields, yards, gardens, parks and in our communities so that they can provide the beauty, enjoyment and foods that millions rely on, not to mention keeping our waterway safe, clean and usable," said Fox Waterway Agency Executive Director Joe Keller. "We wish to express our thanks, admiration and appreciation to Senator Althoff and Representative Wheeler for their tireless work. At a time when many of us scratch our heads with what seems to be a lack of progress in state government, their efforts are hugely valued."

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