(Chicago) The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) will honor Senator Don Harmon, Senator Mike Frerichs, and Representative Mike Fortner for Outstanding Environmental Leadership at its 11th Annual Environmental Leadership Dinner today.  The 11th Annual Environmental Leadership Dinner will be held at the Holiday Inn Merchandise Mart, 350 W. Mart Center Drive in Chicago, Illinois.

IEC’s Environmental Leadership Awards are given out each year to legislators, individuals, organizations, or businesses that have made a significant achievement in the past year towards addressing the environmental community’s most significant issues. Eleven Illinois state legislators have been previous recipients of the IEC Environmental Leadership Award.

“We are honoring three legislators tonight because of the very significant pieces of legislation that Senator Harmon, Senator Frerichs, and Representative Fortner have passed through the legislature,” said Jen Walling, executive director of IEC.  We are grateful for the leadership each has shown on critical environmental issues.”

Senator Don Harmon will receive this special recognition because of his work improving access to open space through SB1042 – restoration of recreation liability protections to private landowners – and his leadership on renewable energy issues and efforts to introduce a fracking moratorium in the Illinois Senate.

“I want to thank the IEC for this award and, more importantly, for the work the IEC and its affiliates do to protect our state’s natural resources. We all need to work together to keep our land, air and water safe for generations to come,” said Illinois State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).

Senator Michael Frerichs will receive this special recognition for his leadership as the first legislator to introduce legislation regulating hydraulic fracturing in Illinois and for his leadership on legislation to reduce nutrient pollution.

“I have been pleased to work with the Illinois Environmental Council and the Illinois environmental community to pass legislation over the past few years.  Our efforts have led to increased programs to reduce nutrient pollution from agriculture, new opportunities for green business through benefit corporations and the toughest fracking rules in the nation. I appreciate the honor of receiving the IEC’s Environmental Leadership Reward this year and look forward to continue working with the organization on future legislation,” said Senator Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign).

Representative Mike Fortner will receive this special recognition for his work on green stormwater infrastructure and municipal aggregation.

“The passage of two bills encouraging the use of green stormwater infrastructure – HB1522 and SB1869 – provide new opportunities to manage and finance this infrastructure,” said Hal Sprague, Water Policy Manager at Center for Neighborhood Technology.  “This cost-effective infrastructure will protect water quality and prevent property damage from flooding.”

The keynote speaker at the 11th annual Environmental Leadership Dinner will be Dale Bryk, Energy and Transportation Program Director at Natural Resources Defense Council.  Dale Bryk is director of NRDC’s energy and transportation program and a senior attorney. Her expertise is in the area of climate policy, including cap-and-trade design, utility regulation, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, global warming pollution registries, green building and smart growth. She worked on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and was featured as a guest on The Colbert Report. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and teaches at the Yale Law School environmental protection clinic.



The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) is a non-partisan 38 year-old organization that promotes sound environmental laws and policies, provides a forum for environmentalists and facilitates a statewide activist network. IEC performs legislative advocacy and serves as the environmental community’s eyes, ears and voice in Springfield.


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