Sunday, January 31, 2010

IL Pollution Control Board Penalizes Company for Open Dumping

On January 21, 2010, the Illinois Pollution Control Board found that Info Corner Materials, Inc. ("ICM") violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and ordered ICM to pay $3,000 in civil penalties.

The penalty resulted from an administrative citation that was filed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency concerning ICM’s disposal facility located on Bachmann Drive, just north of the junction of North Dirksen Parkway and Peoria Road, in Springfield Township, Sangamon County, Illinois.  Illinois EPA alleged that ICM violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act by causing or allowing the open dumping of waste in a manner resulting in litter.  Illinois EPA also alleged that this was ICM's second open dumping violation.

To contest an administrative citation, a defendant must file a petition with the Pollution Control Board no later than 35 days after being served with the administrative citation.  If the defendant fails to do so, the Pollution Control Board must find that the defendant committed the violations alleged and impose the corresponding civil penalty. 

Because ICM failed to file a petition with the Pollution Control Board, the Board found that ICM committed the alleged violations and imposed the $3,000 penalty for a second violation.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

President Obama Renews Call for Clean Energy and Climate Change Legislation

After last night's State of the Union Address, there should be no doubt that President Obama is going to stay the course on his agenda.  He renewed his call for Congress to pass clean energy and climate change legislation:

"Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history -– (applause) -- an investment that could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy. You can see the results of last year's investments in clean energy -– in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels.

"But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. (Applause.) It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. (Applause.) It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. (Applause.) And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. (Applause.)

"I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. (Applause.) And this year I'm eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate. (Applause.)

"I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation. (Applause.)"

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

U.S. Senators Introduce Resolution Disapproving EPA's Endangerment Finding on Greenhouse Gases

Ever since the election of Senator-Elect Scott Brown in Massachusetts (and the loss of the Democratic supermajority in the Senate), people have been asking if climate change legislation will be passed by Congress anytime soon.  According to a recent column in the Chicago Tribune, even the chief executive of Exelon Corp. "admitted last week that his cherished cap-and-trade plan for cutting carbon emissions has encountered 'serious trouble.'

As I have reported on this blog, U.S. EPA may decide to implement a plan by itself, based on its endangerment finding that greenhouse gases pose a threat to human health and welfare.  However, to block such a plan by EPA, several senators recently introduced a resolution, S.J. Res. 26, to disapprove the endangerment finding:

"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (published at 74 Fed. Reg. 66496 (December 15, 2009)), and such rule shall have no force or effect."

The resolution was introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican-Alaska) and has 39 co-sponsors including two Democrats (Senators Ben Nelson from Nebraska and Mary Landrieu from Louisiana).

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

U.S. EPA Orders Dairy to Comply with Clean Water Act

According to an agency press release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an order under the Clean Water Act to Westridge Dairy LLC, 2114 Ames Road, Red Bud, Illinois.  Westridge is a "medium-sized concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in the Kaskaskia River watershed in central Illinois with approximately 700 mature dairy cows."

U.S. EPA ordered the dairy "to stop all unauthorized waste discharges and to comply with the Clean Water Act.  EPA also ordered the facility to apply to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for a permit to discharge wastewater."

The order resulted after U.S. EPA "inspected the facility in April and found that Westridge was not using best management practices to prevent the discharge of manure and other animal production waste.  EPA also discovered that the facility did not have a state wastewater discharge permit."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

U.S. EPA Proposes New Smog Standards

On January 19, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would set more stringent standards for ground-level ozone, more commonly known as smog.  U.S. EPA is proposing these new standards after reconsideration of limits set by the Bush administration in 2008.

Specifically, "EPA proposes that the level of the 8-hour primary standard, which was set at 0.075 ppm in the 2008 final rule, should instead be set at a lower level within the range of 0.060 to 0.070 parts per million (ppm), to provide increased protection for children and other ‘‘at risk’’ populations against an array of O3-related adverse health effects that range from decreased lung function and increased respiratory symptoms to serious indicators of respiratory morbidity including emergency department visits and hospital admissions for respiratory causes, and possibly cardiovascular-related morbidity as well as total nonaccidental and cardiopulmonary mortality."

U.S. EPA also proposes that the "secondary O3 standard, which was set identical to the revised primary standard in the 2008 final rule, should instead be a new cumulative, seasonal standard expressed as an annual index of the sum of weighted hourly concentrations, cumulated over 12 hours per day (8 am to 8 pm) during the consecutive 3-month period within the O3 season with the maximum index value, set at a level within the range of 7 to 15 ppm-hours, to provide increased protection against O3-related adverse impacts on vegetation and forested ecosystems."

According to a fact sheet prepared by U.S. EPA, "ozone is found in two regions of the Earth’s atmosphere – at ground level and in the upper regions of the atmosphere.  Both types of ozone have the same chemical composition (O3).  While upper atmospheric ozone forms a protective layer from the sun’s harmful rays, ground level ozone is the main component of smog.  Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but forms through a reaction of nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4) in the presence of sunlight.  Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are the major man-made sources of NOx and VOCs."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Request to Close Locks on Same Day Asian Carp DNA Found in Lake Michigan

On January 19, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court entered a one-sentence order (page 3 of this list of orders) denying the State of Michigan's request for preliminary injunction that would have immediately closed locks and gates leading to Lake Michigan.  Michigan requested these actions to prevent Asian carp from getting into the lake.

On the same day, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that the multi-agency Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee "received information from the University of Notre Dame about one positive environmental DNA result for silver carp in Calumet Harbor approximately one-half mile north of the Calumet River and one more at a location in the Calumet River north of O’Brien Lock."  According to the Corps, the Regional Coordinating Committee "is now working to respond to the most recent eDNA results, including consideration of:

· Rapid deployment of intensive netting, including electrofishing and specialized netting alternatives, in the area near O’Brien Lock to reduce the possibility that a selfsustaining population might be established.

· Continued research into scientific advances to apply detection systems that will allow participating agencies to pinpoint the exact location and numbers of carp.  Current eDNA testing does not yet provide this information.

· Planning to develop the concept of how existing structures, such as locks, could be operated in a way that would minimize the risk of carp migration while the U.S. Coast Guard, local public safety and emergency responders, needed cargo, and other traffic transits the waterway;

· Expedited construction of new electric dispersal Barrier IIB to complement existing barriers, and severance of culverts and other bypass routes in the event of flooding, that might allow carp entry from adjacent waterways.  Interim obstructions will be completed this year;

· Accelerate development of possible biological controls for Asian carp; and

· Continued efforts to assess 'ecological separation' as a long-term strategy that blocks invasive species from transferring between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds while still allowing cargo and 'clean traffic' to pass, leveraging the Corps of Engineers’ Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Transfer Study."

More coverage of these events can be found in the Associated Press's article on these issues.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Environmental Register for December 2009

The Illinois Pollution Control Board has issued its Environmental Register publication for December 2009.

The Environmental Register features a letter from Chairman Girard, an appellate court update, a rulemaking update, a summary of actions of the Board, a summary of new cases, and the Board's calendar.  The Environmental Register also contains "Restricted Status" and "Critical Review" lists of sewers or lift stations in the state.  It also contains a notice that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency proposes to list several dedicated nature preserves as "Class III: Special Resource Groundwater."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lake County Suburbs Apply to Connect to Lake Michigan Water

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that ten Lake County, Illinois suburbs have applied to connect to Lake Michigan water. 

The suburbs are Antioch, Fox Lake, Fox Lake Hills, Grandwood Park, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Lindenhurst, Long Grove, Volo, and Wauconda.  The residents in those suburbs currently use well water.  Those ten communities propose "spending $250 million to lay about 57 miles of pipe and take other steps that would bring Lake Michigan water to the western part of Lake County."

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is responsible for allocating the State of Illinois' use of Lake Michigan water.  According to IDNR's website:

"A 1967 U.S. Supreme Court Decree limits Illinois' diversion of water from Lake Michigan.  In response, the General Assembly has tasked the Illinois Department of Natural Resources with developing an ongoing program to equitably allocate Illinois' limited supply of Lake Michigan water.  The 'Rules and Regulations for the Allocation of Water from Lake Michigan' describe the allocation process, contains the criteria used to evaluate applications for a water allocation and the water conservation practices and other permit conditions required of allocation permit holders."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Village Settles State Enforcement Action Alleging Water Pollution Violations for $10,000

On January 7, 2010, the Illinois Pollution Control Board accepted the parties' settlement in People v. Village of Rockton, PCB No. 09-104.  The case concerned the Village of Rockton's River Street lift station located along the Rock River, which is part of the operations of the Village’s waste water treatment plant ("WWTP").  The WWTP is located at 718 West Union Street in Rockton, Winnebago County, Illinois.

The State alleged that the Village caused, threatened, or allowed the discharge of untreated sewage into the Rock River, thereby causing, threatening, or allowing water pollution; failing to provide a reliable alarm system at the lift station; and allowing a sanitary sewer overflow.

As part of the settlement, the Village does not affirmatively admit the alleged violations, but it has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10,000.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Manufacturer of Aerosol Packaged Chemical Products Settles Federal Enforcement Action Alleging Hazardous Waste Violations

U.S. EPA announced that it settled an enforcement action against Claire Manufacturing Co. for alleged hazardous waste violations.  The company manufactures aerosol packaged chemical products at its facility located at 500 Vista Ave. in Addison, Illinois.

EPA alleged multiple violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, including failing to "obtain a hazardous waste storage permit, update its emergency plan, train personnel, label containers, get assessments/certifications, maintain records and meet inspection requirements for its tank systems."

Claire Manufacturing will pay a $44,200 penalty to settle the action.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Asian Carp DNA Found Along Chicago River

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, Asian carp DNA has been found along the Chicago River:

"The DNA -- but no live fish -- was found in three different spots along the Chicago River near the Wilmette pumping station north of Chicago, said Major Gen. John Peabody with the [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers'] Great Lakes and Ohio River division. The sample was taken in October, and the Corps received the results Thursday."

This finding has renewed "fears that the fish have breached an electrical barrier meant to keep them from reaching the Great Lakes and destroying its multi-billion-dollar fishing industry."  Environmental groups claim that this finding supports their call for the closing of canal locks that lead into Lake Michigan.  However, the Obama administration does not support closing the locks.  In fact, "Solicitor General Elena Kagan told the Supreme Court environmental DNA, or 'eDNA,' testing was experimental science.  Discovery of genetic material from carp doesn't necessarily mean the fish were there, she said."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Canadian National Railway to Pay for Environmental Testing After Derailment

According to a recent article in the Southtown Star, Canadian National Railway will pay $25,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the State of Illinois and Winnebago County over a train derailment in Rockford, Illinois in June 2009. 

During the derailment, 18 rail cars, all containing ethanol, left the tracks resulting in an explosion.  At the height of the fire, 14 rail cars were ablaze.  At least one person died because of this incident.

According to the article, "Canadian National will pay nearly $18,000 to the state's oil spill response fund. More than $7,500 will go to the hazardous waste fund to repay the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for testing and monitoring."  Canadian National has also agreed to "test wells in the area one more time to make sure drinking water is safe."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

U.S. EPA Publishes Air Emission Standards for Animal Feed Manufacturers

On January 5, 2010, U.S. EPA published in the Federal Register a Final Rule entitled "National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Area Source Standards for Prepared Feeds Manufacturing."  The rule applies to manufacturers of prepared animal feed (except dog and cat feed) that is an area source and uses a material containing chromium or a material containing manganese.

The Final Rule requires certain equipment standards and management practices.  There are also requirements that are specific to certain areas of the plant or processes at all new and existing sources.  The Final Rule also contains certain notification, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

U.S. EPA Publishes Air Emission Standards for Chemical Preparations Industry

On December 30, 2009, U.S. EPA published in the Federal Register a Final Rule entitled "National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Chemical Preparations Industry."

"Chemical preparations" include fluxes, water treatment chemicals, rust preventatives and plating chemicals, concrete additives, gelatin, and drilling fluids.  Generally, the Final Rule applies to "area source facilities that manufacture chemical preparations containing metal compounds of chromium, lead, manganese, or nickel, except for manufacturers of indelible ink, India ink, writing ink, and stamp pad ink."

The Final Rule for existing sources requires "process vent streams from chemical manufacturing processes with equipment that uses, contains or contacts target HAP to either be routed to a control device with a 95 percent PM reduction efficiency or to meet an outlet concentration of 0.03 gr/dscf, with or without control."  Existing sources must comply by December 30, 2010.

For new sources, the Final Rule requires "these process vent streams to either be routed to a control device with a 98 percent PM reduction efficiency or the process vent stream must meet an outlet concentration of 0.03 gr/dscf, with or without control."

The Final Rule also has certain monitoring, initial and continuous management practice, notification, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Illinois Environmental Heroes Named by Governor Quinn

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently awarded 22 individuals and groups with 2009 Environmental Hero Awards.  The annual award "is given in recognition of a strong commitment to the health and protection of the environment in Illinois."  Recipients included:

"Walter Bush IV is the Education and Employment Manager for the Bronzeville Green project in Chicago, which employs formerly homeless adults in community gardens and environmentally friendly landscaping projects.  Bush works tirelessly to help these individuals build green job skills to achieve self-sufficiency.

"Ray Coleman, principal of St. Monica Academy in Chicago, brought together his students, faculty and community to make environmentally sustainable upgrades to the school grounds, including installing a permeable play lot, creating a greenhouse and planting native flowers and trees.

"Garry Griffith is the director of dining at Augustana College and has spearheaded the school’s Farm-to-Fork initiative, where students work on local farms to produce crops used in the college’s dining system.  Also through Griffith’s efforts, over 80,000 pounds of food waste is composted annually into local farmland, and the school’s used cooking oil is converted into biodiesel to power farm equipment.

"Jack Harrier of Danville is the Head Custodian at Danville School District 118.  He has saved the district nearly one million dollars by making sure lights and electronics are powered down at night, and by installing energy efficient retrofits to buildings, all while involving Danville students in his conservation efforts.

"Debbie Hillman is a co-founder of the Evanston Food Policy Council and lobbied aggressively for the passage of the Food, Farms, and Jobs Act of 2007.  She is also a coordinator on the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force.  Hillman was a professional gardener for 32 years.

"Michael Howard is the founder and executive director of Eden’s Place Nature Center, which offers youth on Chicago’s South Side a place to learn about native gardening and local farming.  The classes also incorporate science, writing and art into conservation lessons.

"Madiem Kawa is the founder and leader of the Washington Park Conservancy.  Through the Conservancy, she coordinates Washington Park GreenKids and Teen Ecological Adventure, two hands-on educational programs that inspire and train youth to be stewards of woodland, wetland, and prairie habitats.

"John Kidd founded Fishin’ Buddies!, a non-profit organization that teaches over 1,000 Chicago students each year about wildlife conservation, prairie restoration and plant identification, while reinforcing reading and writing skills.

"Chris Koos, Mayor of Normal, has led the Uptown neighborhood in creating a pedestrian-friendly community that has attracted Fortune 500 companies and over $200 million in private investment.  Uptown is the first neighborhood in the country to require LEED certification for new buildings.

"Ben Magers and Kirstin Blackford of Paxton were the only youth that attended the 2009 Department of Natural Resources Conservation Congress.  They were elected as two of eight students to serve on the Pheasants Forever Youth Leadership Council, which helps young people become the next generation of conservation leaders.

"Mother McAuley (Chicago) and Thornridge High School (Dolton) students are partnering to teach residents of Pinchon, Haiti how to make renewable biodiesel.  They are also building a biodiesel processor to ship to the remote town and creating reassembly instructions in French.

"Julie Nold teaches Spanish at Loyola Academy in Wilmette and is the faculty supervisor for the ecology club SAVE (Students Against Violating the Earth).  She organizes club members and other students to pick up recyclables from the community every week and takes students on tours of the Elk Grove Village recycling center to see where their recyclables go.

"Orland Park’s Green Team is a group of youth and adults that visit area businesses to provide suggestions on how each can make their operations more energy efficient, water efficient, and cost-effective.  The team is supervised by Nancy Flores and gives businesses a special decal they can display in recognition of their involvement.

"L.H. Bert Princen (1930-2008) was director of the USDA Research Center in Peoria and conducted the National Audobon Christmas Bird Counts in Illinois since 1962.  After his success, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources asked Princen to coordinate spring bird counts in Peoria starting in 1972.  Princen was an acclaimed scientist, outdoor enthusiast, bird expert, musician and educator, and was known to many as "the Bird Man of Peoria."

"Debbie Raboin is a teacher at O’Fallon Township High School.  She partnered with state agencies and the Illinois Innovation Talent Pilot Program to have her students design a house for a local sustainable development that is eco-friendly, cost effective, appealing and marketable.

"Dinah Ramirez opened and directs Healthy Southeast Chicago, a group that works with the Chicago Department of Environment and other partner organizations toward progressive, holistic, and environmentally sustainable solutions to health disparities in the Latino community.

"Polly Rerko Dixon is a parent at Wild Rose Elementary school in St. Charles who started a vehicle anti-idling initiative.  She has worked with administrators and other parents to develop their own environmental initiatives, which have greatly improved air quality around schools.

"Gary Swick teaches science at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville.  Over his 32 years of teaching, he has worked with his students to develop their own environmental science curriculum, which they also provide to other schools and legislators.  His students have been responsible for numerous local initiatives, including open space referendums, erosion control ordinances and groundwater surveys.

"Tamara Tyszko of Plainfield started Lakewood Falls Elementary School’s first recycling program.  During the kick-off recycling campaign, she encouraged students with no recycling services at home to bring their recyclables to school.  Through her efforts, Tyszko earned the reputation for getting students excited about conserving the planet and making recycling “cool.”

"Bill Volk is the Managing Director of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) where he worked to develop diesel emission particulate filters now used on 50 buses.  MTD also uses green cleaning products and reuses rainwater to wash its fleet.

"Mark Wizniak is a senior engineer at ComEd in Oak Brook where he partnered with state agencies and the Illinois Innovation Talent Pilot Program on an initiative to enlist high school students and their teachers to perform energy audits in their schools.  The effort is intended to boost efficiency and reduce operating costs.

"Margie Woods of Joliet is a former member of the Will County Board and championed the efforts of the Ridgewood subdivision to receive Illinois EPA revolving funds for improving the community’s sewage and drinking water infrastructure."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

U.S. EPA Publishes Draft List of National Enforcement Priorities for 2011-2013

On January 4th, U.S. EPA published in the Federal Register a notice of a public comment period on "Candidate National Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Priorities for Fiscal Years 2011-2013."

EPA is "soliciting public comment and recommendations on enforcement and compliance national
priorities to be addressed for fiscal years 2011-2013.  EPA selects these priority areas every three years in order to focus federal resources on the most important environmental problems where noncompliance is a significant contributing factor."

On its website, EPA published this preliminary list of national priority candidates: (1) Air Toxics, (2) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, (3) Environmental Justice—Community Based Approach, (4) Indian Country Drinking Water, (5) Marine Debris, (6) Mineral Processing, (7) Municipal Infrastructure, (8)
New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (NSR/PSD), (9) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Enforcement, (10) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Financial Assurance, (11) Resource Extraction, (12) Pesticides at Day Care Facilities, (13) Surface Impoundments, (14) Wetlands, and (15) Worker Protection Standards.

Public comments must be received by January 19, 2010.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Federal Government and State of Illinois File Briefs in U.S. Supreme Court Opposing Michigan's Request for Action on Asian Carp

The federal government and the State of Illinois filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing Michigan's request for relief to close locks to prevent Asian carp from getting into Lake Michigan.
Both briefs make the technical legal argument that the U.S. Supreme Court should not hear the case (a lack of jurisdiction) for two reasons.  First, they argue Michigan should not be able to reopen a 1967 consent decree, which deals with the removal of water from Lake Michigan, because the subject matter of this controversy is not the same.  Second, they argue that, although the U.S. Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction over controversies between states, Michigan does not actually request relief from the Illinois.  In fact, it appears that the State of Illinois may have no control over the facilities at issue here.

More importantly, the briefs argue that closing the locks is not immediately necessary.  The federal government argues:

"Michigan’s far more dramatic requests for relief -- the closure of the locks and sluices and the construction of temporary barriers in the Little Calumet River -- are not warranted to stop an imminent threat of irreparable injury.  Michigan’s averments depend entirely on Dr. Lodge’s eDNA results to date.  But contrary to Michigan’s arguments, the current eDNA results alone do not establish the requisite likelihood that a reproducing population of carp is on the verge of establishing itself in the Great Lakes."

The federal government argues that it has taken action to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.  Indeed, several federal agencies continue working on the issue, and, therefore, Michigan's requested relief is not warranted at this time.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mercury Pollution From Coal-Fired Power Plants in Illinois Increased in 2008

According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, the amount of mercury emitted into the air by coal-fired power plants in Illinois increased by 7% in 2008, despite a 4% decline nationwide.

Specifically, "mercury emissions in Illinois rose 7 percent to 4,466 pounds in 2008 from 4,181 pounds in 2007.  Mercury emissions fell 4 percent nationally in 2008 to 88,871 pounds, down from 92,907 pounds in 2007."  The Tribune article also stated that "the increases in Illinois are due to power companies burning more high-mercury coal without filtering pollution from it."

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Peckar & Abramson Client Alert on EPA's Stormwater Rule for Construction Projects

Peckar & Abramson recently issued a Client Alert concerning the U.S. EPA's Final Rule setting first-time national performance standards and monitoring requirements for stormwater discharges associated with the construction industry.

Please click here to view the Client Alert.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.