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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:35am
Wed Nov 26, 2014

Report: Walmart A 'Massive' Coal Consumer In Illinois

Nearly 292,000 tons of coal are burned each year to power Walmart's facilities in Illinois, producing 539,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, shows a new report examining the carbon footprint of the nation's largest retailer.

Out of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Walmart's coal consumption is the second highest in Illinois behind Texas, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's (ILSR) report titled, "Walmart's Dirty Energy Secret: How the Company's Slick Greenwashing Hides Its Massive Coal Consumption."

Walmart is one of the country's biggest users of coal-fired electricity overall, with its U.S. stores and distribution centers collectively responsible for the annual consumption of 4.2 million tons of coal, resulting in almost 8 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year, the report found.

"If you put all of that coal into rail cars, you'd have a train 43,000 rail cars long that stretched for over 420 miles," report co-author Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher at ILSR, said on a conference call with reporters.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:16pm
Fri Oct 17, 2014

Chicago Hosts U.S.-Canada Energy Summit; Cook County Board Opposes Canadian Nuclear Dump

Canada's minister of natural resources is in Chicago this week to talk U.S.-Canada energy policy. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the minister's keynote address and takes a look at a controversial proposal to build a nuclear waste disposal facility in Canada near Lake Huron's shore. The Cook County Board passed a resolution last week against the Canadian nuclear dump.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:54pm
Wed Sep 17, 2014

Is Bob Dold A Friend Of The Environment?

Although former one-term congressman Bob Dold, the Republican candidate in the competitive 10th congressional district race, claims to have a "strong record of protecting the Great Lakes and the environment," his critics aren't convinced. Progress Illinois takes a look at the environmental voting records of both Dold and incumbent Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:09pm
Tue Jul 1, 2014

Lake County Environmental Coalition Sends Petitions To NRG Energy Over Future Of Waukegan Coal Plant (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

Lake County residents and environmentalists are asking the new owner of Waukegan’s aging coal-fired power plant to produce a long-term transition plan for the facility in collaboration with local community stakeholders.

Toting signs reading "Clean air wins" and "It's time for a clean and healthy lakefront," about 25 members of the Clean Power Lake County Campaign mailed more than 2,500 petition postcards on Tuesday to New Jersey-based NRG Energy Inc. The petition calls on the company to set a retirement date for the 90 year-old Waukegan plant, located on the city's lakefront, and make investments in clean energy projects that will hire local workers. A transition plan for the outdated plant should also consider the city of Waukegan's tax base as well as those currently employed at the site, the petition states. 

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
6:38pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Debate Over Proposed Metal Recycling Facility In Pilsen Heats Up (VIDEO)

Debate about a proposed metal recycling facility in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood got heated Thursday morning when activists arguing for and against the new project squared off outside of Ald. Danny Solis' (25th) office.

The $30 million metal shredding facility, run by Pure Metal Recycling, is proposed for 15 acres of land near Cermak Road and Loomis Street near the South Branch of the Chicago River. It would be on the same block as Benito Juarez Academy, 1510 W. Cermak Rd., and a few blocks from another metal shredding facility, Sims Metal Management, at 2500 S. Paulina St.

Supporters of the project say it would bring much-needed jobs to the area and is slated to be an environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art facility.

But environmental activists claim the new facility would be at a high risk for fires and explosions and bring increased air and water pollution, soil contamination, truck traffic and noise pollution to the neighborhood.

“They’re saying they’re going to be totally unlike any other facility, and totally brand new and clean, but its like playing Russian Roulette by putting it next to a school,” said Jerry Mead-Lucero of the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO). “Maybe they’ll pull off this miracle and it’ll be unlike any other recycling facility. But if they don’t, it’s going to be awfully bad for the community. They’re taking too big of a risk.”

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