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
In the Media
“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
“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
“‘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
“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
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
“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
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
While that may be a positive for the planet, it’s coming at a cost hundreds of thousands of infected people and millions of people without jobs. Jennifer Walling, executive director for the Illinois Environmental Council, emphasized this is “not the model of what you want to see in
“Don’t flush them. Wet wipes clog pipes in your home, they clog pipes in sewers, and they cause lots of problems for the different water treatment facilities,” said Jennifer Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council. We do not want to be dealing with clogged pipes and
“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.
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
One of the groups in the ICJC is the Illinois Environmental Council. Gavin Taves, policy director at the IEC, said CEJA aims to transition Illinois to a clean energy market while supporting consumers and building in equity provisions. “We have to wake up to the severity of the
“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
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
“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.
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
“[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.
“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
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
Today, Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jen Walling released the following statement in response to Gov. JB Pritzker’s remarks regarding climate change and his decision to prioritize clean energy legislation during his 2020 State of the State address: “At a time when the Trump administration is taking major
As Pritzker celebrated a year as governor, the Illinois Environmental Council’s Director Jennifer Walling made public a review expressing disappointment in his lackluster approach to environmental issues. “While it is uncomfortable for me to admit, the truth is those of us who care about protecting our environment are
Executive Director at the Illinois Environmental Council, Jennifer Walling, joins John Williams to talk about this week’s NewsClick and the possible ban on single-use plastic and foam in Chicago. If banned, restaurants worry about the cost of single-use alternatives. If passed, the ordinance would give restaurants until January
The ordinance calls for a total elimination of polystyrene, or styrofoam, foodware. The notorious packaging is not biodegradable. The ordinance is supported by Ald. George Cardenas (12th), Ald. Matt Martin (47th), Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), Maria Hadden (49th) and Michele Smith (43rd). This ordinance would be the Midwest’s
Lightfoot to launch waste management study, hopes to find way to improve Chicago’s dismal recycling rate
For years, Chicago aldermen and the Illinois Environmental Council have demanded a review of managed competition, which has allowed Waste Management to mark blue recycling carts as contaminated — even though that company has a “financial incentive to divert” the contents of those recycling bins to landfills they
“The IEPA today is mostly focused on permitting,” said Jennifer Walling, CEO of the Illinois Environmental Council. “When you have a new facility or your permit expires, putting together a permit to allow you to engage in whatever polluting activity you like. They do have inspectors to inspect,
“I would not call this first step keeping that promise,” said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, referring to Lightfoot’s campaign pledge. Walling, whose organization represents about 80 environmental groups, said she understands the budget constraints but wonders how much power Lightfoot will give the
“I know the people at Illinois EPA are trying to do their jobs and the obligations we’ve given them with limited resources, but it’s just too little and the work isn’t getting done,” said Jen Walling, Executive Director of the nonprofit Illinois Environmental Council. “This means that people
Jen Walling, the council’s executive director, hopes to persuade legislation into passing this act. She said it will bring numerous jobs and equity to communities that have been negatively impacted by what she calls “dirty energy.” “We really need the relief in Illinois. We need the jobs for
How tough is the Illinois law on ethylene oxide? Not nearly tough enough, some lawmakers and residents say.
“It’s disappointing to hear they think that way because it shows industry stakeholders aren’t taking this crisis seriously,” said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, a nonprofit group that helped draft legislation opposed by Griffith and other business lobbyists. “They appear to be more interested
Despite persistent rain, it was a “solarbration” at the Illinois Environmental Council’s Springfield office, 520 E. Capitol Ave., Thursday afternoon as the advocacy group celebrated its new solar rooftop project. The 9.72kW system is going to offset about eight tons of carbon emissions each year, more than 40
For many of the activists and leaders, victories in recent months haven’t tempered their anger and frustration about toxic pollution from the release of ethylene oxide for decades. “I’m used to seeing these movements wilt after somebody promises new laws or regulations,” Jennifer Walling, who grew up near
“I think that overall, we ended up in a very strong position with the environmental concerns regarding cannabis in this bill,” said Cary Shepherd, policy director at the Illinois Environmental Council. Shepherd helped draft the legislation’s efficiency requirements along with members of the University of Chicago Abrams Environmental
Illinois legislators unveil bill to keep ethylene oxide emissions away from ‘densely populated regions’
“Anything where you’re phasing out or banning a chemical is going to be difficult. And I think that this is going to have opposition from several industry stakeholders,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “I think that the governor is excited to sign a
As the Illinois Environmental Council points out, “A typical 5,000-square-foot indoor cannabis cultivation facility uses 66 times more energy than the average U.S. household. This energy usage adds up.” Read the Full Article Here.
Eliot Clay, agriculture and water programs director with the Illinois Environmental Council, said that the council pushed the legislation, known as House Bill 2505, forward. “There’s a growing want in communities for products that are locally grown,” Clay said. Read the Full Article Here.
“It is the best in terms of sustainability regulations of any cannabis regulation in the country,” said Jennifer Walling, the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. The environmental council represents more than 80 environmental groups in Illinois and pushes for stronger environmental laws and policies at the
Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, a group that works to protect the state’s environment, said they initially asked for a ban on the spraying of dicamba but supported the cut-off date over no action. Walling said the organization’s concerns include what is happening to
“In 1998, an anti-environment majority restricted Illinois’ ability to tackle air pollution, including carbon emissions. Twenty-one years later, a majority of the Illinois House and now Illinois Senate supports action on climate change and reducing Illinois’ carbon emissions,” comments Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council.
A Q&A with three key players when it comes to Chicago’s water quality: Andrea Holthouse Putz, deputy commissioner of water supply for the Chicago Department of Water Management; Dr. Allison Arwady, chief medical officer and acting commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health; and Jen Walling, executive
“According to Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, its senate sponsor, Michael Hastings (D–19), plans to discuss elements of the bill with her organization, the AFL-CIO, and the IMA over the summer, which suggests it may be reintroduced the next legislative session in a revised
An amendment outlining the key provisions of the Clean Energy Jobs Act mentions “environmental justice” at least 30 times. “We are getting pushback from communities that have coal plants that would be predicted to close under this,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, a
“It’s important that not just the six-county area around Chicago benefits. We need the benefits to reach all 102 counties, and every part of the state,” said Jen Walling, coalition member and executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “This bill does exactly that.” Read the Full Article
Advantage News “Advocates and residents from across Illinois gathered in Springfield on Tuesday for a fourth hearing before the Illinois Pollution Control Board to testify in opposition to the latest proposal to increase dangerous air pollution from the Central and Southern Illinois coal fleet operated by Texas-based Vistra