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Water Contamination

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:00pm
Wed Jul 27, 2016

Experts Analyze Safety Of Chicago's Drinking Water Amid Lead Concerns

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform hosted a panel discussion Wednesday in Chicago on "the importance of keeping government accountable for clean and safe water." Progress Illinois provides highlights from the talk. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:12pm
Fri May 13, 2016

Experts, Environmentalists Alarmed By High Lead Levels Found In Illinois Water Supply

Environmentalists and experts are reacting to new reports that reveal documented high levels of lead in the water supply of numerous Illinois communities.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:32pm
Wed Jul 2, 2014

Report: 10 Percent Of Illinois Beach Water Samples Have Unsafe Bacteria Levels

Hitting the beach this Fourth of July holiday?

A recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggests that swimmers take precautions to avoid getting sick from beach water that might be contaminated.

The NRDC's annual "Testing the Waters" report showed that 10 percent of water samples taken last year from 49 monitored Illinois coastal beaches and beach segments — all located in Cook and Lake counties — tested positive for high levels of bacteria from human or animal waste.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:18pm
Thu Jun 19, 2014

Report: 6 Million Pounds Of Toxic Industrial Pollution Discharged Into Illinois Waterways (VIDEO)

Industrial facilities discharged 6.1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Illinois' rivers and streams in 2012, shows a new report by the Environment Illinois Research & Education Center.

The "Wasting Our Waterways" report ranks Illinois as the 13th worst U.S. state for the total volume of toxic industrial releases to waterways.

At the national level, polluting facilities dumped 206 million pounds of harmful chemicals into American waterways in 2012, according to the report. And some 8.39 million pounds of toxic pollution were discharged into the Great Lakes watershed. Ammonia, chromium and lead are among the chemicals released into Illinois' waterways, according to the report.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:41am
Sun Dec 1, 2013

IDNR Hosts Public Hearing On Proposed Fracking Administrative Rules (VIDEO)

Proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing in Illinois fell under harsh scrutiny Tuesday night, as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) hosted its first public hearing on draft regulations before the controversial horizontal oil and gas drilling technology comes to the state.

“I know that we need natural gas, but we need to do this in the safest way possible so that we’re not killing ourselves,” said Jessica Bryant, a representative of Greenpeace, in her speech before the panel of five IDNR representatives.

Bryant was one of more than 250 people to attend Tuesday’s meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the first of five public hearings on the state's draft fracking administrative rules.

“There are about a million fracking wells nationwide. Industry itself has admitted that at least 5 percent of those wells have failed, in case you’re not good at math, that’s 50,000 wells ... What are the chances you live close to one of those wells,” asked Bryant, pointing out that the cement casing in the wells could leak, causing the water and chemicals used in fracking to leak and contaminate groundwater.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:29pm
Tue Oct 29, 2013

Environmentalists Want EPA, Obama To Close "Frightening" Clean Water Act Loopholes

Activists with Environment Illinois say it's time to give Lake Michigan the Halloween treat it deserves: protection from polluters. 

At a news conference at North Avenue beach Tuesday morning, environmental organizers said loopholes in the Clean Water Act have allowed Lake Michigan to become a "witch's brew of pollutants" for more than a decade, leaving nearly 56 percent of Illinois' streams unprotected. The unchecked pollution has the potential to put the drinking water of more than 1.6 million Illinoisans at risk, the group said.

In September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a draft rule designed to help clarify which U.S. waters are subject to protections under the Clean Water Act. Environmentalists say the proposed rule would be a big step in helping to restore Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands and others waters.

The proposed rule takes into consideration a recent draft report the EPA issued detailing the findings of more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles and studies about the connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters.

At today's press conference, the environmental organizers called on President Barack Obama to move forward with the proposed rule, which they say would help ensure Lake Michigan is protected from pollution such as sewage and runoff from factory farms.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:55am
Mon Oct 21, 2013

Protesters Demand That No Fracking Permits Be Issued In Illinois (VIDEO)

Less than one month after the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) opened registration for individuals and firms interested in applying for hydraulic fracturing permits, a group of protesters gathered in Chicago on Friday to say they don’t want the oil and gas drilling technology in their state.

“We want Marc Miller and all of the people at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to be sure they hear our message,” said Jessica Fujan, an organizer with Food & Water Watch. “There is no such thing as safe fracking. For our water, for our air, for our farmers and for our future, we want to ban fracking now.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:22pm
Mon Sep 9, 2013

National Report: 17 Illinois Coal-Fired Power Plants Discharge Toxic Water Pollution

A recently-released national report has sounded the alarm on coal-fired power plants that are dumping certain toxic metals into waterways without limits. 

Of the 274 coal-fired power plants nationwide that discharge coal ash and scrubber wastewater into public waters, 17 are in Illinois, according to a report released by Clean Water Action, the Sierra Club and other conservation groups. 

Not one of these Illinois coal-fired power plants has a cap on the amount of toxic metals, such as arsenic, boron, cadmium, mercury and selenium, allowed to be released into waterways, according to the “Closing the Floodgates” report. Few of them have requirements to monitor or report the toxic discharges to federal authorities. 

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