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Water Pollution

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:16am
Thu Jul 21, 2016

Tyson Meat Company Ranked As Worst Illinois Water Polluter Among Agribusinesses

New research shows the Tyson Fresh Meats animal slaughtering facility in Hillsdale was the top water polluter in Illinois among major agribusiness operations in 2014.

That year, the Tyson Fresh Meats plant released over 2 million pounds of pollutants into the state's waterways, according to the Environment America Research & Education Center's report.

The environmental advocacy group examined the "water pollution footprints" of Tyson Foods and four other major agribusinesses, Cargill, JBS, Perdue and Smithfield, in Illinois and other states. Forty-four percent of the nation's pork, chicken and beef is produced by those five companies, according to the report.

Researchers analyzed the most recent 2014 data from the federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) on pollution discharges into waterways from the five major agribusinesses. Among the findings, Tyson's facilities released the most pollutants nationwide -- nearly 21 million pounds. 

That's more pollutants "by volume than even Exxon Mobil or DuPont," according to the environmental group.

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
4:42pm
Mon May 23, 2016

Great Lakes In Peril? Enviros Concerned About Ballast Water Provisions, Settlement In Michigan Nuclear Plant Leak

Environmental groups are reacting to a U.S. House measure that could open the door to new invasive species in the Great Lakes as well as a recent settlement over a 2011 leak at a nuclear power plant located on Lake Michigan's shoreline.

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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