In the Media

Media Contact:

Tucker Barry, IEC Communications Director
tucker@ilenviro.org

Chicago Moves To Ban All Styrofoam, Single-Use Plastics

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

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The Illinois EPA Faces Challenges

“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,

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Over 500 protesters rally in support of clean energy jobs

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

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Illinois Sets Strict Energy Efficiency Rules For Cannabis Growers

“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

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Despite Federal, State Efforts, Dicamba Complaints Continue

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

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Illinois Governor Signs Bill Allowing State To Create GHG Restrictions

“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.

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Why Are Unions Joining Conservative Groups to Protect Pipelines?

“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

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Civic leaders, residents call for stricter pollution regulations

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

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With signature, Pritzker commits Illinois to U.S. Climate Alliance

“Speaking at a news conference in Springfield’s eco-friendly Southwind Park, Pritzker joined officials from the Illinois Environmental Council and the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club, emphasizing the need to take local action to address climate change while also taking a few verbal jabs at the president.” Read

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SB 1226 Endangers Safe Drinking Water & Public Health

Rich Miller | Capitol Fax Illinois continues to reel from the fatal outbreak of legionella at the Quincy Veterans’ Home. School and park districts are scrambling to address troubling levels of lead in water lines and drinking fountains. Now the House is considering a radical measure that would

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Alderman, advocates push for recycling reform in Chicago

Katie PyzykChicago Alderman John Arena is calling for the city to consider eliminating its flat $9.50 per household waste collection fee in exchange for a volume-based rate, giving residents a financial incentive to recycle. Following a recent council hearing on the topic, Arena released a statement saying, “The

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Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on Sterigenics facility

Cole LauterbachIllinois lawmakers heard from experts and people affected by the chemicals being released by a suburban Chicago facility at a Friday hearing. Willowbrook-based Sterigenics has been using a cleaning agent called ethylene oxide, known as ETO, to clean medical supplies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said

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Bill to Help Illinois Agencies Donate Leftover Food Signed Into Law

Alex RuppenthalUnder the new law, agencies must formulate food donation policies that outline nearby food pantries, soup kitchens and other organizations that accept donations. Walling said the law will be especially helpful to agencies that run hospitals and corrections facilities, where the population can vary from day to

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Gov. Rauner launches the Driving a Cleaner Illinois program

Press release submissionGov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois EPA Director Alec Messina launched the “Driving a Cleaner Illinois” program, aimed at improving air quality in the state by primarily removing old diesel engines from service. Jen Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC), voiced support for the

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Rauner Signs Bill Legalizing Industrial Hemp in Illinois

Alex RuppenthalThe new law permits the cultivation of industrial hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that is used to make paper, fabrics, biodegradable plastics, construction materials and a variety of foods, including granola. The bill was introduced in January by state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights. “We

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New Law Aims to Increase Use of Compost in Illinois

Alex RuppenthalUnder the new measure, introduced by state Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, and signed into law Monday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, state agencies must request a bid for compost as part of any landscaping project that uses off-site soil. Agencies must use compost in the project if

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Illinois environment groups welcome Starbucks ditching plastic straws

By Leo Ji“In January, the Alliance, together with the Shedd Aquarium and the Illinois Environmental Council, issued a joint resolution recognizing the implementation of a federal law banning plastic micro-beads from personal-care products. Even before the federal law, manufacturers had begun to voluntarily remove the micro-beads from products,

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IDNR funding improved

By Daily Journal staffThe Illinois Environmental Council reports the Illinois Fiscal 2019 budget has broken “a long trend of cuts and unspent appropriations” for natural resources, with an “especially heartening” 6.7 percent increase for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. A highlight is $37 million match for the

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Illinois Bill Would Help Agencies Donate Leftover Food

By Alex Ruppenthal“An existing law prevents state agencies from signing food service contracts that prohibit donations. But even though agencies are permitted to donate food, they are less likely to do so without a plan in place, said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, which

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Illinois Senate to get involved in Foxconn squabble with state

By Ricardo Torres“On Thursday, the Environmental and Conversion Committee for the Illinois State Senate passed a resolution urging ‘Illinois agencies to take whatever actions possible to protect against the loss of water resources, the potential flooding, and other ecological impacts from this development.’ The resolution cites Foxconn’s plans

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Bill to Create Urban Agriculture Zones Passes Illinois House

By Adalberto Toledo“The [University of Illinois] students have been working closely with the Illinois Environmental Council, which last week held an Environmental Lobby Day at the Capitol for 10 of their priority bills as legislators in Springfield finished off this session.” Read the entire piece at The News-Gazette

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How the world made macro strides in curbing microbeads

By Bailey Bischoff“The negative environmental effect of microbeads first gained attention in 2013 after a report by 5 Gyres and the State University of New York at Fredonia revealed a high concentration of the plastics had infiltrated the Great Lakes. In response, Illinois became the first state to

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