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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Livestock Operations

The Livestock Facilities Management Act regulates large animal facilities that house thousands of hogs, chicken, or cows. It is also used to actively supersede local control of the siting and construction of these types of facilities. Danielle Diamond from the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project and Albert Ettinger, attorney, will review the laws concerning livestock operations. …

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Buildings & Climate Change

https://youtu.be/L2ZrVAr6fFQ Residential and commercial buildings use almost 30% of the electricity supply in the US. As we invest in renewable energy and move toward decarbonization, we must critically examine the role that buildings play in meeting our climate goals. Katie Kaluzny, from the Illinois Green Alliance, will review energy efficiency and building decarbonization policies that …

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The Environmental Case for the Fair Tax

https://youtu.be/uJR77BBut8I This year, amidst a respiratory health pandemic and urgent calls for racial justice, we have seen the importance of government agencies charged with combating threats to our health and lifting up communities that have been harmed most by pollution, economic inequality, and racism. We’ve also seen how our broken tax system has badly eroded …

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TEAMING UP

“Over time, long-term benefits also accrue. ‘My tile waters are clear, with lower levels of nitrates, due to cereal rye uptake,’  says Dick Lyons of Harvel, Illinois, who started no-tilling corn in 1976 and soybeans in 1996. He’s on year seven of blanketing all his acres with cover crops. Lyons also variable-rate applies fertilizer. Besides …

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Endangered Species Act

For this session, IEC will be joined by NRDC to discuss the Endangered Species Act and the way that it is used to protect wildlife in Illinois and all over the United States. Presenters: Lucas Rhoads, Attorney at NRDC

Rich or poor, every Chicagoan deserves to live in an environmentally safe neighborhood

“Protecting less advantaged communities is complicated further in Illinois by a law that prohibits the state Environmental Protection Agency from considering the cumulative effect of multiple industry permits, says Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. The effect of the prohibition is that a neighborhood might be beset by various types of pollution …

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How To Avoid Plastic Grocery Bags During Illinois’ Reusable Bag Ban

Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, concurs. “The Governor’s approach to safely reopening has been wisely based on the wisdom of scientists and public health officials, and his policy regarding reusable bags should be no different,” she said in a statement. “Repeated scientific studies have shown that clean, reusable containers do not …

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Lawmakers, environmental groups vow fight against moving General Iron isn’t over after IEPA permit

“Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jen Walling, who was also involved in the fight over EtO last year, she wished the Pritzker administration could have strengthened regulations with General Iron as it did in the case of Sterigenics. “I look at Sterigenics and the IEPA did things they’ve never done there,” Walling said. “I definitely …

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Energy Efficiency Policy: How laws can save you energy and money

https://youtu.be/ZAi60EpzbCs For energy companies, the goal is to always sell more product – more energy – which usually means more dangerous emissions. Anne McKibbin of Elevate Energy will talk about the laws that incentivize utility companies to use less energy, particularly for low income customers. Resources: Elevate Energy

Our Food System and COVID: How to Improve Security and Resilience

This webinar will explore how the Covid-19 pandemic exposed fractures within our food chain, and how shifting towards a decentralized food system that strengthens local food infrastructure and increases accessibility can create a much more resilient agricultural system. Presenters: Liz Stelk of Illinois Stewardship Alliance Rodger Cooley of Chicago Food Policy Action Council Sean Ruane …

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Trivia Forms

Zero Waste, 100% Trivia Thank you for joining IEC for a fun night of trivia! You can play along by choosing out the following Google forms as we go: Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5

The Role of the Attorney General in Environmental Protection

The Illinois Attorney General’s Environmental Enforcement Division plays a critical role in the enforcement of our civil environmental laws. Assistant Attorney General Daniel Rottenberg from the Office of Attorney General Kwame Raoul will review the role of the Environmental Division.

Black Lives Matter Resource Page

The work for racial justice continues until all Black, brown & indigenous people are free & equal in this country. We are all called to do what we can to help in this fight. IEC compiled this resource list for those looking to help.

Illinois Youth Leading on Climate Action

For this session, we are excited to hear from Illinois youth climate activists working to deal with the climate-based anxieties of today while fighting to protect their futures. Presenters: Ella Barry, Illinois Youth Climate Movement Claire Rychlewski, Sunrise Movement Xavier Colon, International Indigenous Youth Council Resources: Illinois Youth Climate Movement Sunrise Movement International Indigenous Youth …

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Who is left behind during the pandemic?, COVID-19’s impact on IL environmental policy

Mike Stephen discusses the racial disparity of COVID-19 with Duaa Eldeib of ProPublica Illinois, learns about the impact of the pandemic on the state’s environmental policy with Jen Walling of the Illinois Environmental Council, and chats about the pandemic’s effects on small business and self-employed workers with Dan Cooper of the Metropolitan Planning Council. Listen …

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Waters of the United States Protections and Rollbacks

https://youtu.be/IEXySaRZUCw In the 30th installment of our Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by Molly Kordas of Openlands to discuss the Water of the United States Protections and rollbacks by the Trump Administration. Resources: Openlands

Safe Disposal of Pharmaceuticals

https://youtu.be/oceU09Q_JZo In the 29th installment of our Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by James Jennings of IEPA to discuss safe disposal of pharmaceuticals.  

The Illinois Commerce Commission

In the 29th installment of our Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by Nikhil Vijaykar of ELPC and Christie Hicks of Environmental Defense Fund to discuss the Illinois Commerce Commission and electricity rate making. Resources: ELPC Environmental Defense Fund

Cities and the Local Circular Economy

In the 27th installment of our Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by Jonathan Perreira of Plant Chicago to discuss cities and local, circular economices. Resources: Plant Chicago

Biking and Walking in the COVID Era

In the 26th installment of our Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by Audrey Wennink of Metropolitan Planning Council and Lynda Lopez of Active Transportation Alliance to discuss biking and walking in the COVID era. Resources: Metropolitan Planning Council Active Transportation Alliance

How Local Governments can Protect the Planet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFJQ-zNkLf8&list=PLMGeEea_3FDSvmV1-CsYax8-Um7FLNdF5&index=26&t=0s In the 25th installment of our Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by Sandy Hart Chari of the Lake County Board, Joy Hinz of DuPage County, and Chris Wheat of NRDC to discuss how local governments can help protect the planet.

How do we promote efficient and equitable transportation during and after the pandemic?

“Yesterday the Illinois Environmental Council presented the webinar “Walking and biking during COVID-19,” featuring Audrey Wennink, transportation director at the Metropolitan Planning Council, and Lynda Lopez, advocacy manager at the Active Transportation Alliance (and a former Streetsblog Chicago reporter.)” Read the full article here.

Environmentalists bash Trump for ‘brazen’ move on clean cars

President Trump’s move to dump Clean Car Standards imposed by the Obama administration drew a swift rebuke Tuesday from environmentalists. Calling it a “brazen rollback of clean-car standards,” the Illinois Environmental Council said a new rule imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ignores how “these standards have saved Illinois families over $1.3 billion at …

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EPA Relaxes Enforcement, Citing Pandemic. Environmentalists Call it a ‘License to Pollute’

The Illinois Environmental Council likewise expressed its outrage: “To be clear, now is absolutely not the time to allow polluting industries to skirt environmental protection laws. This is dangerous and wildly irresponsible, especially as we’re seeing stark evidence of the burden of toxic air pollution on vulnerable populations who already struggled to breathe before this …

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Make the post-coronavirus world better

“Climate change is exacerbating this crisis. High levels of pollution have put vulnerable communities at greater risk of serious health impacts from COVID-19. Air pollution damages lungs and can cause chronic diseases like asthma, COPD and lung cancer. Scientists expect catastrophic events and pandemics to increase as the climate changes, and this tragedy is showcasing how …

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As The World Turns To Solar Power, Black Chicagoans Jump On The Bandwagon

CEJA would quadruple solar subsidies and give Chicago more weight in the selection process, said Colleen Smith, legislative director for the Illinois Environmental Council, a coalition of ninety grassroots groups. More importantly, Smith said, CEJA would put the state on a path to eliminate coal-fired electricity by 2030 and nuclear plants by 2050, and to …

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Measure would require disclosure about pavement sealant

As recently as last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was in the process of developing toxicity standards for PAHs, but that process was suspended in December 2018. There also are no standards for workers in businesses that apply coal tar sealants, although Colleen Smith, who lobbies for the Illinois Environmental Council, said the National …

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FERC ruling could impact Illinois residents’ electricity bills

Gavin Taves, policy director at the Illinois Environmental Council, said the ruling could negatively impact the clean energy market. “Essentially, this ruling makes it much harder for renewables to competitively be on the capacity market,” Taves said. The IEC is part of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, which supports the Clean Energy Jobs Act. CEJA …

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Illinois lawmakers want to get rid of plastic and styrofoam. Here’s the plan.

In an effort to tackle the growing problem of plastic pollution, a group of state lawmakers from both legislative chambers touted a series of bills Tuesday, Feb. 18, that would tax or ban single-use plastics and aim to boost recycling. The four proposals have the support of organizations such as the Illinois Environmental Council and …

Illinois lawmakers want to get rid of plastic and styrofoam. Here’s the plan. Read More »

Lawmakers propose regulations on plastics

“In other states that have done this, collectors have popped up because this is a good business opportunity where you can make money, not only as a commercial enterprise, but also there are a number of individuals that make money in this way,” Walling said. Read the Full Article Here.

Drug Takeback Proposal Aims To Keep Unwanted Medicine Off Illinois Streets, And Out Of The Water

Colleen Smith of the Illinois Environmental Council explained when those medicines are flushed down toilets and sinks, they flow into vital water sources. “Without safe, convenient and funded collection opportunities, these drugs will continue to contaminate our rivers, our streams and our drinking water,” Smith said. Read the Full Article Here.

Lawmaker, advocates want statewide drug take-back program

“With the lack of disposal options currently and the lack of consumer education, these drugs are going to continue to be flushed down our toilets and end up in our garbage,” said Colleen Smith, Illinois Environmental Council legislative director. Read the Full Article here.

Expanded Drug Takeback Program Aims to Keep Pharmaceutical Pollutants Out of Our Water

If passed, the act will require companies to produce promotional materials to educate the public about the takeback program and collection sites, said Gong-Gershowitz. Environmentalists cheered the proposed legislation. “This takeback program is a common sense approach to minimize the presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water and reduce human and wildlife exposure,” said Colleen Smith, …

Expanded Drug Takeback Program Aims to Keep Pharmaceutical Pollutants Out of Our Water Read More »

Could Springfield Pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act This Session?

“[CEJA] is centered around renewable energy and support of renewables, but also our bill is centered around supporting consumers, jobs and equity,” said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, which represents over 90 environmental organizations in the state. Read the Full Article Here.

The Super Bowl Ad Chicagoans Should Be Talking About, But Probably Didn’t Even Notice

“While the Super Bowl was being played in a stadium that is projected to experience significant flood risks if climate change continues to go unabated and sea levels continue to rise, we weren’t surprised to see large oil and gas companies funding high-dollar Super Bowl ads perpetuating a disinformation campaign to keep states tied to …

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Rep. Ford demands removal of lead water pipes on West Side

Iyana Simba, a clean water advocate from the Illinois Environmental Council, believes the threat of lead contamination in our drinking water is significantly higher in Chicago than almost anywhere else in the United States. “The upcoming town hall meeting is about taking that first step in combating this public health crisis,” Simba said. “This will …

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