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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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:22pm
Thu Jan 21, 2016

It’s Time To ‘Accelerate Climate Change Solutions,’ Say Enviros In Reaction To 2015’s Record High Temps

After 2015 was officially declared the hottest year on record, environmental experts say it’s time to step up climate action efforts. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:58pm
Thu Jan 14, 2016

EPA Climate Regs To Be ‘Big Fight’ In State Legislatures This Year

As 2016 state legislative sessions gear up across the country, including in Illinois, expect new environmental regulations outlined under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to be a key issue debated in the nation’s state houses this year.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, finalized in August, looks to slash carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

States, which are given flexibility to meet the plan’s carbon pollution standards, have to submit an implementation plan or request an extension by September.

“There’s a range of actions that states will be considering to address the rule, including cap and trade, carbon taxes, renewable portfolio standards, scaling up solar energy use, amongst other things,” said Nick Rathod, executive director of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a group working with state legislators to advance progressive policies across the country.

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
4:54pm
Thu Nov 12, 2015

Illinoisans Deliver Nearly 35,000 Petitions Backing Clean Power Plan To Rauner’s Office (VIDEO)

Illinoisans in support of the federal Clean Power Plan delivered nearly 35,000 petitions to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office on Thursday, urging him to support the new environmental regulations. Progress Illinois was there for the petition delivery at the Thompson Center.

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