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New Law Will Preserve Homeowners’ Solar Rights

Gov. Pritzker’s signature provides needed protections against solar access restrictions. SPRINGFIELD, IL (July 28, 2021) — Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation protecting Illinoisans’ right to clean energy and access to solar power. A revision to the Homeowners’ Energy Policy Statement Act, HB 644 will guarantee homeowners’ rights to place solar on their home without major …

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Northbrook board takes further steps toward sustainability

“Northbrook resident Rod Burton, professor emeritus of aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois, said there was no mention of nuclear power, a fuel source he said provides 66% of electricity in Illinois, with sustainable sources contributing 17%. (The Illinois Environmental Council said as of March 2019 Illinois nuclear comprised a national high of 54%, 10% renewable …

Northbrook board takes further steps toward sustainability Read More »

IEC Summer 2021 Newsletter

It’s been a busy year for team IEC, so we’ve put together a quick roundup of some of the work that we’ve been doing so far in Springfield, Chicago and now at the federal level in D.C. too! Check out some of our recent wins, and the ongoing work we’re engaged in building power for …

IEC Summer 2021 Newsletter Read More »

From Pandemic Stress Baking To Profits: New Illinois Law Eases Restrictions For Home Bakers

“’Greenhouse gas emissions in Illinois is from transportation. And the distance between where food is grown, and where it winds up being consumed, is an environmental concern if those distances are pretty great. And right now, they usually are,’ said Eliot Clay of the Illinois Environmental Council. He said supporting cottage food bakers helps create …

From Pandemic Stress Baking To Profits: New Illinois Law Eases Restrictions For Home Bakers Read More »

Illinois Has A New Law To Remove Lead Pipes. So Now What Happens?

“With 400,000 lead service lines lurking beneath Chicago homes, the city faces the worst documented lead line problem in the nation. But a new law passed last month makes Illinois one of just two states in the country, along with Michigan, that will now mandate full replacement of all the lead service lines.” Read the …

Illinois Has A New Law To Remove Lead Pipes. So Now What Happens? Read More »

Illinois could close all coal plants by 2035 under proposal up for vote this week

Lawmakers could provide $700 million over five years for Exelon nuclear plants in Byron, Morris, and Braidwood. The Illinois Environmental Council says the plan can support workers at those plants and secure reliable, carbon-free electricity without an unjustified bailout. IEC Executive Director Jennifer Walling explained Exelon would receive $5 billion less than what the utility …

Illinois could close all coal plants by 2035 under proposal up for vote this week Read More »

Chicago’s surveillance network, IL environment policy, drawing the new ward map

“Mike Stephen talks to freelance reporter Michael Murney about his piece that covers the Chicago Police Department’s Private Sector Camera Initiative, gets an update on Illinois’ environmental policy from Jen Walling of the Illinois Environmental Council, and learns about public participation in drawing Chicago ward maps from Adam Alonso, CEO of BUILD. And in the …

Chicago’s surveillance network, IL environment policy, drawing the new ward map Read More »

Illinois lawmakers headed back to Springfield for renewable energy bill

“‘Energy legislation is incredibly complicated,’ said Deputy Director of the Illinois Environmental Council Colleen Smith. ‘Unfortunately, I think we just ran out of time.’ With so many jobs and the climate itself on the line, lawmakers are headed back to Springfield next week to finally get a bill passed.” Read the full article here.

Chicago Alderpersons Earning Top Marks on Inaugural Environmental Scorecard Announced

The Illinois Environmental Council Releases First Chicago City Council Scorecard, Recognizes Green Champions at Mid-term (CHICAGO) – Today, the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) released its inaugural Chicago City Council Environmental Scorecard, which scores each sitting Chicago City Council alderperson based on the environmental impact of their voting record over the last two years. For over …

Chicago Alderpersons Earning Top Marks on Inaugural Environmental Scorecard Announced Read More »

2021 Chicago City Council Scorecard

For the first time, IEC has released an Environmental Scorecard for the Chicago City Council, debuting each sitting City Council alderperson’s average environmental score. Scores are based on the environmental impact of their voting record over the last two years.  That means, for the first time, you can see whether your alderperson has used their power …

2021 Chicago City Council Scorecard Read More »

Intro to Energy Law

https://youtu.be/K4uCDVIJDe4 This Lunch & Learn serves as a crash course on energy policy in Illinois. Presenters: Cary Shepherd, Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern School of Law Nancy Loeb, Director, Environmental Advocacy Clinic at Bluhm Legal Clinic

Clean Energy Bill Stalls, But Supporters Still Optimistic for Passage

“Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Jack Darin, director of the Sierra Club’s Illinois chapter, and Delmar Gillus, chief operating officer at Elevate Energy, join Phil Ponce to discuss the prospects for a bill that would transform energy production in the state.” …

Clean Energy Bill Stalls, But Supporters Still Optimistic for Passage Read More »

Illinois General Assembly Approves Bill That Will Eliminate Toxic Lead Service Lines

Bill requires replacement of lead lines, and establishes state grant and technical assistance program to support communities in this effort (SPRINGFIELD, IL) –Following a concurring House vote late last night in favor of the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act (HB 3739), both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly have approved the bill, which …

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Eliot Clay, Guest Columnist: Conservation programs combat effects of climate change

“The cover crop pilot program is widely popular and has been an overwhelming success, but it needs to be extended and expanded. This year, the program ran out of funds after only 12 hours, and the program only has enough funding to support farmers on 50,000 acres (less than 2 percent of Illinois’ farmland). That …

Eliot Clay, Guest Columnist: Conservation programs combat effects of climate change Read More »

Eliot Clay, Guest Columnist: Conservation programs combat effects of climate change

“The cover crop pilot program is widely popular and has been an overwhelming success, but it needs to be extended and expanded. This year, the program ran out of funds after only 12 hours, and the program only has enough funding to support farmers on 50,000 acres (less than 2 percent of Illinois’ farmland). That …

Eliot Clay, Guest Columnist: Conservation programs combat effects of climate change Read More »

Chicago Environmental Justice Network Puts Forward Proposal to Address Cumulative Pollution Impact on Environmental Justice Communities

Bill would protect environmental justice communities from further industrial pollution (SPRINGFIELD, IL) – The Chicago Environmental Justice Network and the Pritzker administration today reaffirmed their commitment to community-based environmental justice efforts. HB4093, introduced by Rep. Sonya Harper, creates an enhanced community engagement process when considering permits for new, large air pollution sources in environmental justice …

Chicago Environmental Justice Network Puts Forward Proposal to Address Cumulative Pollution Impact on Environmental Justice Communities Read More »

Civics: Chicago City Council Edition

This Lunch & Learn serves as a crash course on Chicago’s City Council and city government. Presenter: Tiffany Sanders-Sostrin, Director of Legislative & Community Affairs at the Chicago Park District.

Illinois was going to be one of the greenest states. It hasn’t worked out that way.

“‘Being able to pass clean energy legislation was conditioned by the speaker to reach agreement with ComEd and Exelon and labor,’ said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, which led the push for renewable energy provisions. Walling, whose group represents more than 90 environmental and community groups in Illinois, said Madigan’s stance …

Illinois was going to be one of the greenest states. It hasn’t worked out that way. Read More »

Lawmakers, advocates continue push for removal of lead services lines in Illinois

“The Illinois Environmental Council started working on this legislation in 2017. Deputy Director Colleen Smith explained this is the closest lawmakers and advocates have gotten to having the measure reach the governor’s desk. ‘Illinois has an opportunity today with House Bill 3739 to take action and comprehensively address this issue,’ Smith said. ‘We urge the …

Lawmakers, advocates continue push for removal of lead services lines in Illinois Read More »

To encourage more electric vehicles, Illinois should adopt California emission standards

“If states that comprise more than half of the nation’s population were all to adopt California’s emission standards, automakers would have a strong incentive to design and manufacture more zero-emission cars and fewer gas-guzzling autos with internal combustion engines. If Minnesota and New Mexico, which are going through a rule-making process to adopt the standards, …

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State Announces New Spending Plan After Volkswagen Settlement

“The Illinois Environmental Council welcomes the announcement from Governor Pritzker and the IEPA that they intend to revise the state’s VW settlement spending plan after seeking public input. Despite the transportation sector being the leading source of carbon emissions in Illinois, the previous administration left Illinois with a plan that would have spent millions on …

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The Future of Renewable Energy

“This year in Springfield, lawmakers are advancing at least six different bills aimed at making the state’s energy industry more green. The Clean Energy Jobs Act aims to make Illinois 100 percent reliant on clean and renewable energy by 2050. The Path To 100 is a similar plan and supporters say it would create more than 53,000 …

The Future of Renewable Energy Read More »

Springfield could still have nearly 10,000 lead service lines in water system

“The Illinois Environmental Council estimates the state accounts for an eighth of all lead service lines in the country. ‘It is a significant problem in every part of the state, from rural to urban,’ Illinois Environmental Council Deputy Director Colleen Smith said.” Read the full article here.

‘Weakened’ Clear Air Ordinance For Heavy Polluters Moves Forward — With No Support From Environmental Groups

“‘What we’ve seen over the last two months is a weakening of an ordinance that, to begin with, was never developed with very meaningful input from most impacted communities,’ said Colleen Smith, deputy director of the Illinois Environmental Council.  ‘We’re really relying on agencies that have failed in some of these decisions historically … to …

‘Weakened’ Clear Air Ordinance For Heavy Polluters Moves Forward — With No Support From Environmental Groups Read More »

Air polluters would face more scrutiny under ordinance approved by Council committee

“‘I think it could be harmful to pass something that seems like reform but it really isn’t,’ Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) said. Hadden, who voted against the measure, noted that environmental groups had soured on the mayor’s proposal. ‘Instead of developing a comprehensive air quality ordinance that seeks to truly address zoning’s impacts on communities …

Air polluters would face more scrutiny under ordinance approved by Council committee Read More »

Chicago City Council to Take Up Native Gardens Protections

New Native Garden Registry to Curb Discriminatory Crackdown, Protect the Environment CHICAGO —  Today, advocates joined Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward-Chicago) and a dozen other aldermen to introduce the Native Plants Gardens Registry Ordinance (O2021-362) for consideration by the Chicago City Council. The proposal would create a new Managed Native Garden Registry, protecting citizens who …

Chicago City Council to Take Up Native Gardens Protections Read More »

‘Huge.’ ‘Amazing.’ As Biden delivers ambitious plan for environment, Illinois should join in

“Elated environmentalists had a lot to say after President Joe Biden unveiled the environmental executive orders he signed on Wednesday. ‘Huge.’ ‘Amazing.’ ‘Exciting.’ ‘A whole new day in every way.’ ‘So great.’ ‘A historic commitment.’ ‘Super exciting.’ ‘Thrilled.’ ‘This is definitely the biggest day for climate action in 10 years,’ Jennifer Walling, executive director for …

‘Huge.’ ‘Amazing.’ As Biden delivers ambitious plan for environment, Illinois should join in Read More »

Align Your Investing with Your Values

A Lunch & Learn panel on socially responsible investing. Our talented panelists cover the basics of investing with the environment in mind, provide tips to look at your own investments, and share insight into what government can do to make more sustainable investments. Presenters: Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs Amanda Hanley, Climate Solutions Funder Sylvia …

Align Your Investing with Your Values Read More »

New Report Examines Law at Center of ComEd Bribery Scheme

It comes as clean energy advocates are also pressing for a massive energy package to prop up renewable energy. The Illinois Environmental Council’s Jennifer Walling says that would help to address the multifold crises of the ComEd corruption issues, climate change, high unemployment and a cliff for jobs in the solar industry giving funding gaps …

New Report Examines Law at Center of ComEd Bribery Scheme Read More »

2020 Post-election Environmental Analysis

The 2020 election was absolutely critical for gaining ground on a couple key environmental priorities: combating climate change, reducing pollution and protecting vulnerable habitats. It was certainly one of the most important elections in our lifetime and a true test of our commitment to our enduring call to form a more perfect union. Here you …

2020 Post-election Environmental Analysis Read More »

Op-ed: Investing in a safer world: international conservation programs and COVID-19

The Illinois Environmental Council works across our state to promote land protection and restoration, supporting local governments to combat the effects of environmental degradation and protect our open spaces. Across the United States, the work of like minded organizations has helped our country chart a more sustainable path to growth, supporting the long-term survival of …

Op-ed: Investing in a safer world: international conservation programs and COVID-19 Read More »

Transportation Advocates Seek Guarantee Transit Won’t Shut Down In Event of Post-Election Unrest

“Black and Brown communities are disproportionately reliant on public transportation, specifically buses, and so are disproportionately harmed when service is abruptly changed or stopped without warning,” the petition reads. “Shutting down transportation is not the solution and creates undue hardships, especially for essential workers and Black and Brown Chicago residents. Transit is a public good and …

Transportation Advocates Seek Guarantee Transit Won’t Shut Down In Event of Post-Election Unrest Read More »

Lakeshore Erosion

https://youtu.be/PH_nsZJ0HT4 As part of Chicago Water Week, please join IEC and our panel of experts to discuss shoreline erosion in the Great Lakes. Recently, Great Lake water levels have been historically high, threatening beaches, homes, businesses and infrastructure along the shores. Solutions like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative have supported shoreline restoration jetports but there are also international and …

Lakeshore Erosion Read More »

Piping Plovers

https://youtu.be/iP5sn2tfsrU A discussion on the recent nesting success of Monty and Rose, the now famous Chicago Piping Plover power couple. We’ll cover some natural history about Piping Plovers and why they are listed as endangered in the Great Lakes region. One part of this pair’s success has been the huge volunteer effort headed by the …

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Black in National Parks: How Black People & POC Are Underrepresented in the Outdoors

“The 21st was joined by the organizer of Black in National Parks Week and the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Administrator for the Illinois Environmental Council to hear more about Black people and people of color are underrepresented in the outdoor industry. Guests: Nicole Jackson, Organizer of Black in National Parks Week, Co-organizer of #BlackBirdersWeek, and …

Black in National Parks: How Black People & POC Are Underrepresented in the Outdoors Read More »

Piping Plovers

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CEJA Opinion Media Workshop

IEC’s Communications director, Tucker Barry, hosted a small training session for folks interested in learning about how they can encourage their friends and neighbors to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act through the opinion section in their local newspaper! In the session, we discussed how to talk about CEJA, what makes a good Letter to …

CEJA Opinion Media Workshop Read More »

CEJA pushed to back burner by COVID

“‘The climate crisis is longer-term,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, “but if we can’t handle this…’ Walling and Sen. Cristina Castro of Elgin, a lead CEJA sponsor, took part Wednesday in a webinar sponsored by the Chicago Area Public Affairs Group on the topic of ‘Environmental Concerns in the Midst …

CEJA pushed to back burner by COVID Read More »

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