Protect the health and safety of the citizens of Illinois during emergency incidents involving the release of oil, hazardous materials or other contaminants, while stabilizing, minimizing or eliminating the environmental consequences to the land, air or waters of the state.
The Emergency Operations Unit (EOU), within OER, coordinates Illinois EPA’s response to environmental emergencies involving oil or hazardous materials and ensures that any environmental contamination is cleaned up. EOU works with other response agencies including the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), which is the initial contact for responses to an emergency or disaster in Illinois.
To comply with the Illinois Health and Safety Act, Illinois EPA’s Agency Safety Unit conducts the necessary training of all response staff and provides appropriate protective equipment for emergency response actions.
As of July 13, 2013, the Illinois EPA no longer licenses industrial hygienists. This change is pursuant to Public Act 98-78/Senate Bill 72, in which ABIH certification replaces the Licensed Industrial Hygienist requirement in the Illinois Department of Public Health regulations with respect to asbestos project design, etc. Therefor the LIH program adminstered by the Illinois EPA was seen as redudandant, and was replealed.
As a member of the Science Team of the State Weapons of Mass Destruction Team (SWMDT), EOU lends support in responses related to bio-terrorism and hazardous materials. By assessing hazards and associated risks, the Science Team helps ensure the safety of the SWMDT personnel and the general public.