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Department of Energy and Natural Resources - RG 248 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Department of Energy and Natural Resources - RG 248
Variant Name: Illinois Institute for Environmental Quality

Historical Note:

The Illinois Institute for Environmental Quality was established as an independent agency within the executive branch in 1970. The Governor appointed the Institute's director who in turn selected a small staff. The Institute was charged with making maximum use of existing state and federal agencies to investigate the practical problems of environmental conservation and protection and to recommend technical, administrative, and legislative changes designed to produce solutions. It was to work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Pollution Control Board in helping those agencies formulate regulations and fulfill program goals. The institute was to take full advantage of the technical expertise of the various academic departments at the state's institutions of higher education, evaluate curricula, sponsor annual conferences, and issue annual reports to the Governor and the General Assembly (P.A. 76-2429, pp. 879-880).

A law passed in 1981 transferred the institute's responsibilities to the newly created Department of Energy and Natural Resources (P.A. 82-592, p. 3016). Further it assumed the functions of the Division of Energy of the Department of Business and Economic Development and the Museum Division of the Department of Registration and Education (P.A. 82-592, p. 3016). The Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and the Illinois State Geological Survey physically remained at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but were placed under the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (P.A. 82-592, p. 3043). In addition to conducting research the department was charged with promoting the marketing of native coal; developing programs for energy conservation, alternative energy sources, and the safe disposal of hazardous wastes; and evaluating the economic impact and public health issues relating to nuclear energy in cooperation with the Department of Nuclear Safety (P.A. 82-592, pp. 3017, 3033, and 3046). An act passed in 1985 directed the department to prepare an extensive proposal for the location of a superconducting super collider particle beam accelerator in Illinois for the consideration of the U.S. Department of Energy (P.A. 84-647, p. 4204).

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