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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:11pm
Mon Oct 24, 2016

Government Report Sparks Debate Over U.S. Fuel Economy Standards

Automakers have a "wide range of cost-effective technologies" at their disposal to meet 2025 fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks.

But they may fall short of achieving the proposed fleet-wide fuel economy average of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025 because of increased demand for SUVs and pickups.

That assessment came from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board in a recent report.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:36am
Wed Sep 7, 2016

Environmental Group Demands Action On Lead Emissions From Small Airplanes

A leading environmental group wants swift federal action on leaded aviation fuel used by small airplanes and some helicopters.

Friends of the Earth released a new report on the issue, noting that leaded aviation fuel, or "avgas," accounts for 50 percent of all airborne lead emissions.

Lead is a highly toxic metal known to adversely affect neurological development.

"While lead has been banned or limited in consumer products, building materials and automotive gasoline, no action to date has been taken to address the largest source of lead emissions into the air -- leaded aviation fuel," reads the Friends of the Earth's report, prepared by the Center for Environmental Health.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:38pm
Wed Aug 3, 2016

Enviros Rally In Chicago, Testify At EPA Hearing On Clean Energy Incentive Program (VIDEO)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a daylong public hearing in Chicago Wednesday about its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the morning testimony and an afternoon rally staged by environmental and community advocacy groups.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:55pm
Thu Jun 9, 2016

Chicago's Southeast Siders Secure Petcoke Victory, Detail Next Steps In Campaign

Chicago's far Southeast Side residents are applauding progress in their campaign against petcoke storage in their community, but say they aren't done fighting for a complete city ban on the oil refining byproduct.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, members of the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke said they secured a major victory now that, under a city order, a company storing petcoke in their community can no longer have uncovered outdoor piles of the material.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:44pm
Mon Jun 6, 2016

Environmentalists, Oil & Gas Industry Sound Off Over New EPA Methane Rules

Progress Illinois rounds up reaction to the federal government's newly finalized methane rules targeting the oil and gas industry.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Apr 19, 2016

Pending U.S. Trade Deals Could Gut Environmental Policies, Report Argues

A leading environmental group is sounding the alarm over climate threats posed by pending trade agreements, including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TPP is a free trade agreement among the United States and 11 other countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement was signed in February and still needs ratification from the U.S. Congress.

In a recent report, the Sierra Club says the TPP and another proposed trade agreement under negotiation between the United States and the European Union, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), "threaten efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground."

"Like NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], the TPP and TTIP would give foreign corporations broad rights, including the right to challenge new fossil fuel restrictions that thwart their 'expectations' for a stable business environment," the report explains. "The trade deals would empower the corporations to bypass U.S. courts and take such challenges to tribunals of three private lawyers, unaccountable to any domestic legal system, under a process known as 'investor-state dispute settlement' (ISDS)."

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
2:54pm
Mon Feb 22, 2016

Flint Water Crisis Indicative Of Larger Problem Facing Low-Income Communities

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI,5) was in Chicago this weekend, where he held an open discussion about the Flint water crisis, leading to a very spirited debate on the accountability of government and the risks facing under-served communities in America.

The town of Flint, Michigan, made national headlines when high levels of lead were found in its water supply. It is estimated that up to 9,000 children could have been exposed to the contaminated water. Exposure to lead at a young age is known to result in developmental problems for children. The town is also dealing with an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease, which could possibly be linked to the lead-laden water pipes.

Abrar Quader, director of Government and Community Partnerships for the Compassionate Care Network, told Progress Illinois the issues that led to the Flint water crisis could be repeated wherever there is old infrastructure.

"There are communities like Flint all across America," said Quader. "If we don't address it from a public health perspective, it could become a national epidemic."

"What's happening in Flint, what's happening on the South Side of Chicago, what's happening in all underserved communities, there's a link. We need to connect the dots," Quader added.

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