UI report: Illinois will see effects of climate change

Read the full story in the News-Gazette.

Farm fields in Illinois, not just coastal regions, could see dramatic effects from climate change, warns a new report from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Legislation reopens electronic recycling

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Brian Younker hopes to reopen Orland Township’s drop-off recycling center as soon as Gov. Bruce Rauner signs a bill that boosts the amount of electronics that manufacturers are required to pay to recycle each year.

The legislature averted a recycling crisis by the House and Senate each unanimously passing House Bill 1455 in mid-May. It increases by about 13 million pounds what the manufacturing companies must pay for during the next three years — a short-term fix that’s expected to get recycling centers to take electronics again.

Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan for the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Via the Prairie Research Institute’s News from the Library blog.

The Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, produced by the Prairie Research Institute, provides data-driven guidance to theForest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) — which celebrated their 100th anniversary in February–for managing preserves in the coming century.  The FPCC manages >69,000 acres preserving diverse ecosystems and archaeological sites enjoyed by millions every year.

An Updated Look at PCBs

Download the document.

At the request of a bi-partisan group of legislators, the University of Illinois was asked to undertake a review of how polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated soils and other wastes are managed in Illinois. Their main concern was a proposal to deposit PCB wastes in an expanded section of a landfill near Clinton, Illinois. The legislators that asked for this report thought it would be helpful to undertake a review of current practices in Illinois, look at how other governments handle these wastes, and review current research on PCBs including alternative waste-management technologies.

This report includes a summary and recommendations about PCB disposal, a review of how PCBs are a persistent pollutant, and a literature review of remediation technologies of PCBs and manufactured-gas-plant wastes.


Minnesota ban on fire retardants would be toughest in nation

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Minnesota legislators are on the verge of approving the nation’s most restrictive use of flame-retardant chemicals in furniture and an array of household items such as textiles, mattresses and children’s products.

State firefighters have been pushing for legislation that would phase out the use of 10 such chemicals, saying they are ineffective in slowing the spread of fire and contain toxins that are sickening responders. Monday’s compromise, reached among the firefighters, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and chemical companies, would phase out the manufacture and sale of four commonly used flame retardants.

Detroit River cleanup brightens gateway to Michigan

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Cleaning up Detroit and its river could be a key in revitalizing and re-creating Michigan as a state, state officials say.

People describe Detroit as the front-door city of the state, said Ron Olson, the chief of parks and recreation for the state Department of Natural Resources. “The better Detroit does, the better the state does.”

The industrial complexes that were built up along the Detroit River and other rivers throughout the state years ago were an abusive use of land, Olson said. Now, the challenge is to dismantle these complexes and restore the waterfronts to the way they once were.

New campus recycling bins aim to bring waste awareness

Read the full story in the Daily Illini.

In an effort to make campus more eco-friendly and closer to a zero-waste initiative, 20 new recycling bins with standardized signage were installed on the Quad this month, making 30 total recycling/landfill stations.

The project was completed by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). According to the project’s leader Bart Bartels, technical assistance engineer at ISTC, the center makes recommendations and completes projects aiming to reduce waste emissions on campus.

This zero-waste initiative is part of the goal of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), the University’s mission to make campus carbon neutral by 2050.