SPRINGFIELD – A proposal to let farmers use a recycled coal byproduct as a fertilizer was approved by the Illinois Senate on Wednesday. State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) sponsored the legislation that allows farmers to use synthetic gypsum on their fields.
Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral most commonly mined and used for sheetrock or gypsum board. Synthetic gypsum is chemically identical to natural gypsum and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency as a safe, effective fertilizer.
“This is a win-win for the environment. Allowing farmers to use synthetic gypsum for fertilizer helps cut down on erosion and conserve water. And it has the added benefit of letting us repurpose a byproduct of our coal industry,” Sullivan said.