In the Media

Media Contact:

Tucker Barry, IEC Communications Director
tucker@ilenviro.org

Illinois Environmental Agency suffers deep staff cuts

By Johnathan Hettinger“‘There has been such a slow burn of cuts and cuts and cuts,’ said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, an association of 80 environmental groups across Illinois. ‘But what this administration is doing is worse because they havethe capacity to do more.’”

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Coalition Announces New Push for Clean Energy in Illinois

By Brendan Pedersen“‘We are calling on every Illinois politician, including those, Republican and Democratic alike, campaigning for Governor, every community leader, and every voter to commit to these goals and join the conversation, so the state wins a clean, equitable energy future,’ said Jen Walling, executive director of

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State Of Trump: Illinois Environmentalists Choose Different Direction

“Here in Illinois, we’re choosing a different direction,” [IEC Executive Director Jen Walling] said. She pointed out that the legislature approved the Future Energy Jobs Act just weeks after Trump was elected. The wide-ranging measure established energy efficiency goals for electricity companies and started a fund to help

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High toxin levels found in Illinois quarries

“[IEC is] supportive of groundwater monitoring of these quarries. We think that would be a very positive step because with the material that they are taking – if they are going to take that in – we should have monitoring to make sure that they are not taking

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Illinois Lawmakers Pass Bill to Protect Monarch Butterfly Habitat

“Milkweed is labeled a weed because it’s something that in the past was a really prolific plant,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, which supports the bill. “Farmers had some issues with [milkweed]. But because of habitat changes, it’s not a noxious weed anymore.”

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Sen. Bill Haine, Rep. Jay Hoffman weigh in on levee deregulation efforts

“This rule change would limit the state’s ability to enforce levee height limits,” Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council said. “Without oversight, these levees could increase flooding downstream which will not only harm communities, but devastate riparian natural areas and wildlife habitat.” Read the full

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Local food boosters lobby for supportive legislation

Through his work with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, the Illinois Environmental Council and Downtown Springfield Inc., [State Representative Tim Butler] has seen the benefits of local food systems.“I’ve seen firsthand over the years the impact that local food systems have on the economy, on people’s health and just

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Lead-Testing School Water: When Should Parents Worry?

“Illinois as a whole has a high number of lead pipes moving water within communities, and the problem has been a concern for decades,” Walling said.“With the crisis in Flint, there is an increased public awareness of the ability of lead pipes to contribute lead into the drinking

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New state laws support volunteers

“Open space provides real environmental and economic benefits to Illinois’ residents and should remain a consistent priority among decision-makers,” said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “Conservation Land Trusts are experienced in managing natural areas, and therefore make an ideal partner for a public-private partnership

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Waiting on VW money

“I think this should be started as soon as possible,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “I think the sooner the better, the more people who get to participate the better.” Read the full article here.

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Energy jobs forum set Tuesday at LLCC

A forum on renewable energy jobs expected from the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Trutter Center on the campus of Lincoln Land Community College. Read the full article here.

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Joliet, Plainfield schools to get lead results in coming weeks

In January, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a new law requiring schools and day care facilities to test for lead contamination of potable water in their buildings.The law was initiated by the Illinois Environmental Council and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, according to her office. Read the full article

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Hemp may become newest cash crop

A bill that passed unanimously in the Illinois Senate, and now goes to the House, would allow the Illinois Department of Agriculture to license farmers to grow industrial hemp.The Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Illinois Farmers Union initiated this bill, and have collaborated with the Illinois Environmental Council and

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Bill to revamp Illinois e-waste system moves forward

The Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act, established in 2008, currently covers 17 types of devices and banned their disposal as of 2012. The Illinois Environmental Council — which supports the amendments to update this plan along with other state environmental groups — reportedly fought to keep all

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It’s just a bill

An Illinois legislator says striking seven words from the state’s massive energy bill would clear the way for more than $2 billion in new wind energy projects. Read the full article here.

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Illinois farmers one step closer to industrial hemp

Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Illinois Farmers Union initiated this bill, and have collaborated with the Illinois Environmental Council and Illinois Farm Bureau in a coalition of farm and environmental interests to bring hemp back to Illinois. Read the full article here.

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New ‘Pokémon Go’ Bill Rejected by Illinois Lawmakers

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago first proposed the Location-based Video Game Protection Act in August following reports of gamers searching for virtual Pokemon at places like the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland and Japan’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Read the full

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Chicago Lawmaker Proposes Urban Agriculture Zones

The zones would work similarly to Tax Increment Financing districts, which receive subsidies to encourage redevelopment and community-improvement projects in areas in need of revitalization, said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, which supports the legislation. Read the full article here.

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Guest Column: Illinois ready to lead on clean energy

by IEC Executive Director Jen WallingIt is no secret that the change in administrations in Washington has brought a major shift in federal environmental policies. President Donald Trump has made clear his intention to roll back key initiatives enacted during the Obama Administration that tackled climate change and

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Rauner signs school, day care lead-testing law

It follows a crisis in Flint, Michigan, which showed the dangers of lead contamination. And Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan last year called for lead testing in schools after the Illinois Environmental Council found levels of lead in some Chicago and suburban school districts. Read the full article

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Lead testing for schools, day cares signed into law

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office and the Illinois Environmental Council pushed for lead testing for months, but Rauner’s administration wasn’t on board until recent negotiations. Earlier versions of the bill required water suppliers to pay for the testing, which experts estimate could run from $500 to $5,000

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New Illinois Law Requires Schools to Test Water for Lead

Though lead testing cost local school districts thousands of dollars each, superintendents say the efforts were well worth the price — and some schools might already be compliant under the new law. The Illinois Department of Public Health will accept results from tests conducted after 2013, according to

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Rauner signs lead-testing law for schools, day care centers

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office and the Illinois Environmental Council pushed for lead testing for months, but Rauner’s administration wasn’t on board until recent negotiations. Earlier versions of the bill required water suppliers to pay for the testing, which experts estimate could run from $500 to $5,000

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