Webinar: State & Regional Water Supply Planning in Illinois

Thu, Sep 10, 2015 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4662745508236016642

Presented by Walt Kelly – Head of the Groundwater Science Section and Groundwater Geochemist at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute and Adjunct Professor of Geography-Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

In 2006, Governor Blagojevich issued Executive Order 2006-01, which called for the development of state and regional water supply planning under the direction of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Illinois has been divided into ten regions for water supply planning. For each region, a regional water supply planning committee (RWSPC) is formed, comprised of members from major stakeholder groups (e.g., agriculture, industry, mining, environmental, municipal, etc.). The State Water and Geological Surveys are responsible for scientific studies of Illinois’ water resources, working closely with the RWSPCs to optimize planning efforts. Plans have been developed for three regions (Northeast Illinois, East-Central Illinois, and the Kaskaskia River Basin). In 2014, funding was made available to start planning in two new regions (Middle Illinois River Basin and Northwest Illinois) and a sub-region (Kankakee River Basin). In this presentation, Kelly will discuss past, current, and future water supply planning activities in Illinois, focusing on scientific work being done at the Water Survey.

EPA app targets mobile algae forecasting

Read the full post at Great Lakes Echo.

It might not be as addictive as Candy Crush, but a new EPA app could have big implications for water management and the people who drink, swim or fish within the Great Lakes.

The yet-unnamed app will detect blooms of cyanobacteria – a photosynthetic microbe often mistaken for algae and responsible for water quality headaches that particularly affect Lake Erie supplies.

[Naperville] Council OKs switch to LED lights citywide

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Naperville is keeping the lights on, and spending less to do so.

A final $1 million outlay approved last week to convert the city’s conventional high pressure sodium streetlights to more energy-efficient light emitting diode fixtures will save money and wrap the project up ahead of schedule, staff said.

Illini Gadget Garage will provide a space to repair electronics on University of Illinois campus

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

You’ve dropped your cellphone and cracked the screen. Or your computer needs a memory upgrade, the headphone jack no longer works or the hard drive has failed.

You’ve had the electronics for several years, and you could just buy the latest device with the newest features.

Or you could fix the one you have. If repairing an electronic device yourself sounds prohibitively complex and you aren’t sure where to start, help will soon be available on the University of Illinois campus.

The Illini Gadget Garage will open this semester. It will be a place for collaborative repair, modeled after the Campus Bike Center, only for electronics.

Indiana school adopts Great Lakes Literacy Principles

Read the full post at Lakeside Views.

“This is awesome! You guys are going to be the pedestal by which we hold everybody else up,” IISG environmental educator Kirsten Hope Walker proclaimed to a roomful of teachers last week at the Discovery Charter School in Porter, Ind.

What was so “awesome” is the school’s adoption and focus on the Great Lakes Literacy Principles for the upcoming year.

Discovery Charter School, a public school of about 500 students from grades kindergarten through eighth, was founded six years ago with an emphasis on place-based education.

So what better place to learn about the Great Lakes when the Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan are right within sight?

14 Local Governments to Consider Mahomet Aquifer Consent Decree

A proposed consent decree has been drafted between Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Clinton Landfill, Inc., and 14 local government agencies, which comprise the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition. Throughout the month of September, each agency will review and take action on the proposed agreement. If approved by all parties, the consent decree would resolve the pending litigation  regarding the disposal of certain hazardous materials in a landfill located above the Mahomet Aquifer. The Mahomet Aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for nearly 750,000 people in 14 Illinois counties.
The City of Champaign has served as the lead agency for the Coalition leading these efforts, including the litigation, the designation of the aquifer as sole source, and promoting legislation to  protect the aquifer. The consent decree will appear before Champaign City Council at their  September 1, 2015, regular meeting. The agreement would allow manufactured gas plant (MGP) waste already dumped at the landfill to remain. In exchange, Clinton Landfill, Inc. is barred from accepting any more MGP source material or submitting any more applications to dispose of MGP source materials or federally regulated PCB waste at any  landfill facility anywhere in DeWitt County over the Mahomet Aquifer. Additionally, the landfill is required to receive at minimum, semi-annual groundwater monitoring, and must provide at least 12 additional inches of cover over the MGPs stored there. The proposed consent decree is available in its entirety on the City’s website at ci.champaign.il.us/aquifer
Below are detailed key points of the proposed consent decree:
  1. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to withdraw its application before the United States Environmental Protection Agency for approval to accept Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) waste regulated by the Federal Toxic Substance Control Act in the chemical waste unit at the Clinton Landfill. They further agree not to seek future approval to dispose of said PCB waste in any landfill facility located anywhere in DeWitt County over the Mahomet Aquifer.
  2. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to not accept additional Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) waste with chemical constituents in concentrations exceeding state regulatory limits for toxicity in the chemical waste unit. They also agree to not seek future permission from any regulatory body to accept such MGP waste at any landfill facility located anywhere in DeWitt County over the Mahomet Aquifer.
  3. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to cover the MGP waste already disposed of in the chemical waste unit (pursuant to an earlier Illinois EPA approval) with a 12 inch layer of impermeable clay soils. This is to prevent water and other liquids from other waste subsequently disposed of on top of the MGP waste from leaking into the MGP waste
  4. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to have properly licensed environmental testing professionals test the groundwater at Clinton Landfill for the presence of toxic chemicals commonly found in MGP wastes on a semiannual basis. Tests are to be conducted for the remaining operational life of the chemical waste unit and for the post-closure period of time (under current law a minimum of 30 years) and to provide those test results to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  5. The State of Illinois, through the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois EPA, reserve the right to pursue any future criminal or civil violations related to any future contamination of the environment from the MGP wastes already accepted at Clinton Landfill, and any remedies available under the law, including but not limited to the removal of the waste material causing the contamination.

Commentary: Pipelines, fish tanks and environmental risk

Read the full post at Great Lakes Echo.

Risk assessment quickly gets complicated when you start weighing things more consequential than a leaky fish tank. What is the economic impact of closing that pipeline? How do we weigh that? Will gasoline be more expensive? How much? Would you pay another penny a gallon if it prevented a catastrophic spill? How about a dime?