Clean Water

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker Signs Bill to Replace Toxic Lead Service Lines

New law requires replacement of lead lines, prompts calls for federal funds from Congress CHICAGO (August 30, 2021) – Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act, making Illinois the third state in the nation to require full replacement of lead drinking water pipes, which can deliver toxic lead …

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2021 IEC Legislative Report

IEC is pleased to release our 2021 Legislative Report. We are proud to report that we advanced a broad and ambitious agenda, defeated potentially damaging legislation and secured important appropriations in the state budget.

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 …

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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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Illinois Senate to Vote on Bill That Would Eliminate Toxic Lead Service Lines in Illinois

Bill would protect public health, safe drinking water for millions of Illinoisans SPRINGFIELD, IL (May 13, 2021) – Following bipartisan passage by the Illinois House of Representatives of the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act  (HB 3739), which would require all water utilities statewide to replace all lead service lines, Senate action is needed …

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1,000 Illinoisans Urge Lawmakers to Back Environmental Justice Bills at Virtual Lobby Day

Hundreds Rally for Passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Toxic Lead Service Line Removal and New Air Permitting Reforms SPRINGFIELD, IL —  Today, 1,000 environmental justice leaders, renewable energy advocates, youth activists, faith leaders, business representatives and consumer groups from every part of Illinois met virtually with over 80 members of the Illinois General …

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Illinois Environmental Council Announces Illinois’ 2021 Environmental Legislative Agenda

Agenda Tackles Clean Energy, Clean Water, Sustainable Agriculture, Wildlife Protections and More SPRINGFIELD, IL — On behalf of their over 100 member affiliate organizations, the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) announced today Illinois’ annual environmental legislative agenda. The 2021 agenda tackles the environmental community’s priorities across a wide range of issues including clean energy, clean water, …

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New Bill Would Eliminate Toxic Lead Service Lines in Illinois, Protect Drinking Water Standards and Public Health

State legislators and advocates introduce legislation that would create a plan, funding, and timeline for the removal of all lead service lines in Illinois SPRINGFIELD, IL (Feb. 22, 2021) — Illinois Rep. Lamont J. Robinson (D-Chicago) has introduced the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act (HB 3739), a bill creating a feasible and equitable …

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Gov. Pritzker’s Mid-term

IEC’s environmental analysis of Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration midway through his first term.

2021 IEC Policy Platform

We convened seven town halls open to the public, all of our 100+ affiliate organizations, our individual members and our staff to deliberate and develop the policy solutions endorsed by our Illinois environmental movement.

New House Speaker, New 2021 Legislative Session Begins

As we look ahead to the spring session, we will be working with the new General Assembly on key environmental priorities, while protecting environmental programs from budget cuts against a challenging fiscal environment.

In Solidarity with the Legislative Black Caucus Agenda

The Illinois Environmental Council stands in strong support of the Black Caucus in these efforts, and encourages the General Assembly to take up this legislative agenda in the coming lame duck session.

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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Lakeshore Erosion

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father helps son at kitchen sink

Life Without Running Water During COVID-19

We haven’t done right by the communities most impacted—Black, brown and low income communities—until we’ve guaranteed this vital resource regardless of zipcode, race or ability to pay.

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

Urban Stormwater

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S774fmdYa3I In the 24th installment of IEC’s Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by Marcella Bondie Keenan of the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Olga Bautista of Alliance for the Great Lakes to discuss urban stormwater. Find links and resources from the session below: Center for Neighborhood Technology Alliance for the Great Lakes

H2NOW Chicago: Microbial Water Quality Monitoring

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I58fnQPlI_g In the 21st installment of the IEC Lunch and Learn Series, IEC is joined by Alaina Harkness, Svetlana Taylor and George Brigandi from Current to discuss water quality and monitoring in Chicago. Find links and resources from the session below: Current website

Coal Ash and Groundwater Pollution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IXd6LjIRRM In the 16th edition of the IEC Lunch & Learn Series, attorney Faith Bugel joins us to discuss coal ash and how it pollutes groundwater.

Lead in Drinking Water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qYgjYdCPhA In the sixth installment of IEC’s Lunch & Learn Series, Justin Williams from the Metropolitan Planning Council, Caroline Pakenham from Elevate Energy, and IEC’s own Iyana Simba discuss lead in drinking water in Illinois. Below, you can find resources and links from the session: App to see if your home has lead pipes Illinois …

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Lawmakers, Advocates Introduce ‘Plastic-free Water for Illinois Platform’

Lawmakers, environmental groups, and consumer advocates bring the fight for plastic-free water to the General Assembly SPRINGFIELD, IL – Today, State Rep. Ann Williams, State Sen. Melinda Bush and the Illinois Environmental Council announced the introduction of a comprehensive package of legislation tackling the pervasive problem of plastic pollution from single-use plastics in Illinois waterways …

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Illinois’ 2020 Enviro Legislative Agenda

During this session, IEC focused on demonstrating public support for the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) and addressing ethylene oxide pollution.

Broad Coalition Calls for Statewide Drug Take-back Program

Illinois legislators and advocates introduce The Illinois Drug Take-back Act CHICAGO – Today, state lawmakers, environmental and public health groups, along with business, public safety and local government voices, called for a statewide pharmaceutical drug take-back program funded by pharmaceutical companies. The coalition called the amount of  unused drugs in Illinois a public safety, public …

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Advocates Introduce Chicago City Ordinance to Combat Plastic Pollution

Aldermen, environmental groups, and consumer advocates bring the fight for plastic-free water to the Chicago City Council CHICAGO –Today, Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) announced the introduction of comprehensive legislation tackling the pervasive problem of plastic pollution in Chicago waterways and the Great Lakes. Alderman Waguespack was joined by organizations in support of the ordinance …

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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

Cover Crops and the 200 Year Nutrient Pollution Gap

Nutrient pollution from excess fertilizer carried downstream by water and erosion is poisoning our drinking water, feeding toxic algal blooms and contributing to a massive deadzone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lead Poisoning Awareness Week

By Iyana Simba | IEC Clean Water Advocate When it came to light in 2014 that residents of Flint, Michigan were exposed to elevated lead levels in their drinking water, the issue dominated headlines. Since then, cities like Newark, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Chicago have also found elevated lead levels in schools, childcare …

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Milestone Bill to Clean Up Coal Ash Pollution in Illinois Becomes Law

The Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act is a critical step in fixing Illinois’ coal ash problem SPRINGFIELD, IL—Today, bipartisan legislation to protect Illinois’ citizens and the environment from the effects of toxic coal ash became law. The  Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act will result in stronger rules for coal ash cleanup and fund cleanup programs through permit …

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2019 IEC Legislative Report

IEC is pleased to release our 2019 Legislative Report. We are proud to report that we advanced a broad and ambitious agenda, defeated potentially damaging legislation and secured important appropriations in the state budget.

coal ash pollution

Illinois House and Senate Pass Landmark Legislation to Clean up Coal Ash

Bill addresses coal ash impoundments plaguing the state for decades Springfield, IL — Yesterday, the Illinois Legislature passed SB9, The Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act, which now heads to the Governor’s desk. The groundbreaking bill addresses the many waste pits filled with coal ash, the toxic byproduct of burning coal, located all over the state. Illinois is …

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General Assembly Sends Water Jobs Infrastructure Bill to Governor’s Desk

Clean Water Jobs for All Legislation Lays Groundwork for Thousands of New Jobs SPRINGFIELD, IL — Today, the Illinois State House of Representatives voted to approve Clean Water Jobs for All legislation (SB 2146/HB 3349), which creates the Clean Water Workforce Pipeline Program. The program provides training and resources for careers in water infrastructure and …

General Assembly Sends Water Jobs Infrastructure Bill to Governor’s Desk Read More »

Cannabis Legalization Bill Passes with Nation-leading Environmental Protections

Illinois Poised to Enact the ‘Greenest’ Cannabis Legislation in U.S. SPRINGFIELD, IL — Today, the Illinois State House of Representatives voted to pass HB1438, a bill legalizing the regulated, recreational use of cannabis that now includes nation-leading environmental and public health protections. The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) partnered with the University of Chicago’s Abrams Environmental …

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Governor Pritzker’s First 100 Days

The Governor of Illinois has significant influence over environmental programs and policy, as well as if, and how, the state leads on these issues. This being the case, IEC welcomed the election of Governor Pritzker, whose campaign promised 100% renewable energy, clean air protections and recognized the importance of our water resources. Now that we …

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Bill Prohibiting Illinois From Regulating Carbon Pollution Repealed

State can now go beyond the federal government to take action on climate change SPRINGFIELD — On Thursday, March 28th, the Illinois State House of Representatives voted to repeal the Kyoto Protocol Act of 1998, a law prohibiting the state from creating restrictions for the “purpose of addressing the adverse effects of climate change which in …

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State Legislators, Stakeholders Announce Major Milestone for “Clean Water Jobs for All” Legislation

SPRINGFIELD — Today, State Sen. Ram Villivalam and State Rep. Justin Slaughter were joined by environmental and labor leaders from across Illinois to announce support for their Clean Water Jobs for All legislation (SB 2146/HB 3349). Sen. Ram Villivalam, sponsor of SB 2146, said, “With the Clean Water Jobs for All legislation, we aren’t just …

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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 eliminate longstanding protections that ensure the proper …

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Committee Deadline Week

Friday, April 13th is the final deadline for bills to get out of committee in both chambers. It was a mixed week in Springfield for IEC: while many of the proposals we support advanced towards passage, others very bad proposals moved forward despite our strong opposition. Bills that do not get out of committee by …

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2018 Legislative Agenda

What will IEC be up to in 2018?

The 2018 state legislative session began February, 30th 2018. With the Primary Election scheduled for March 20, session days are light between now and March. With continued threats to the environment coming from the federal level, we will be working harder than ever to defend existing protections and push environmental justice priorities in our 2018 …

What will IEC be up to in 2018? Read More »

Staff Feature: Lindsay Keeney

By Lindsay KeeneyDownstate Outreach Director, Illinois Environmental Council You can’t protect something you don’t love. Nurtured in central Illinois creek beds that had a tendency to banish a nice pair pair of school clothes straight to the dirty clothes pile, I love water. Geography gifted me the chance play, fish and study water from an …

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Ammons Feature

Legislator Feature: State Representative Carol Ammons

IEC is excited to release our first “Legislator Feature” on our blog! Through this series, we hope to share with our supporters how legislators think about environmental issues, and what areas they are specifically interested in. For this entry, we are pleased to interview State Representative Carol Ammons. Representative Carol Ammons is serving her second …

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The High Cost of Cheap Meat

As an organization that has been working to solve the pollution crisis caused by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Illinois for years, we applaud the Chicago Tribune’s recent in-depth investigative report on large hog confinements. Few could read this piece without gasping at the stories of environmental pollution, animal abuse, and destruction of rural …

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