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Farmers
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:44pm
Mon Feb 2

Report: Immigration Reform Crucial To Midwest Agricultural Success

Current U.S. immigration policy fails to adequately address agricultural industry needs, and congressional reforms are required to strengthen immigrant-dependent farm and food sectors in the Midwest and elsewhere in the county, argues a recent report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The report, which says "immigration reform is urgently needed for a robust agricultural sector in the Midwest," followed President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration announced late last year.

According to the council, Obama's executive orders fall short for agriculture in part because only 250,000 of the up to 5 million undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation under the plan will be farm workers.

"In November, President Obama announced long-awaited executive action on immigration policy, but the measure provides at best only minimal benefit to farm workers," Michele Wucker, vice president of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, said in a statement. "At worst, it may actually worsen critical labor shortages at farms across the region."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:48pm
Tue Oct 28, 2014

Election Preview: A Look At The 'Toss-Up' 12th Congressional District Race

Progress Illinois profiles the state's 12th congressional district race, which is considered to be a "toss-up."

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
5:11pm
Thu Feb 20, 2014

Environmentalists Call For Stricter Regulations On Factory Farms

Factory farms are one of the leading causes of pollution in Illinois’ rivers and lakes, according to a group of environmental activists who called on the state to impose stricter regulations—and even a moratorium—on industrial livestock production.

“Clean water is critical to the environment, to public health, and to the quality of life in Illinois. Factory farms seriously threaten the health of our waterways,” said Lisa Nikodem, campaign director for Environment Illinois Research and Education Center.

Environment Illinois joined organic farmers Wednesday morning at the Heartland Café, located at 7000 N. Glenwood Ave. in Chicago, to put a spotlight on water pollution caused by the large-scale release of animal waste at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), commonly called factory farms.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:52am
Fri Oct 18, 2013

Illiana Expressway Vote A 'Victory' For Some, 'Train Wreck' For Others

A key decision Thursday from a Chicago regional planning committee to approve the Illiana Expressway drew applause from a slew of elected officials and other supporters, but critics maintain that the proposed 47-mile tollway is a "train wreck" for public transportation and the environment. Progress Illinois takes a look at some of the pros and cons of the project.