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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:42pm
Mon May 23

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 Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Thu Jan 7

Illinois Environmental, Labor Groups Highlight Economic Benefits Of Clean Water Projects

Every $1 billion invested in Chicago-area clean water infrastructure creates or saves an average of 11,200 total jobs and generates an 8 percent economic return over a year.

That's according to a new report, backed by the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and the Sierra Club, that explores the economic and environmental benefits of local clean water projects, which the groups say are a "win-win-win for Illinois" because they help workers, the economy and the environment.

The report, prepared by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was formally recognized at Thursday's board meeting of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD).

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
7:53pm
Tue Dec 1, 2015

Op-Ed: Clean Water Can’t Wait

The following was co-authored by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL,7) and Environment Illinois' Brittany King. 

Clean water is the cornerstone of life. We need it for drinking, bathing, eating, playing, brewing, and everything in-between. Unfortunately, Illinois' waterways are in jeopardy now more than ever. From toxic chemicals to combined sewage overflows to factory farm runoff, there is currently more haunting our waters than there is to be thankful for.

As rain returns to Chicago we are faced with the prospect of more and more combined sewage overflows as our water systems are overwhelmed, releasing contaminated water into Lake Michigan. Since 2014, over 20 billion gallons of contaminated water have been released into Lake Michigan. What's even scarier is that 5 million people rely on Lake Michigan for clean drinking water every day.

It's not just Lake Michigan facing threats, however; waterways throughout Illinois are all facing a variety of pollution problems. In fact, these problems plague waterways nationwide.

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
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
4:28pm
Tue Jun 24, 2014

Southeast Side Chicagoans Want Answers About Reported Uptick In Petcoke-Filled Trains

Southeast Side Chicagoans are sounding the alarm on the latest environmental and public safety issue impacting their communities — an alleged uptick in trains transporting uncovered piles of petcoke, a byproduct of oil refining.

Over the past two months, some Southeast Side residents say they have noticed increased train traffic on old rail lines in the Hegewisch community that have previously been unused for many years. The trains, many of which pull more than 100 cars, are moving in and out of the area day and night, said Tom Shepherd of the Southeast Environmental Task Force. 

Shepherd said the trains are carrying unenclosed petcoke, which is mostly coming from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana and stockpiled at storage facilities along the Calumet River on Chicago's far Southeast Side. 

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