Champaign Council Grants Final Passage to Stormwater Fee

Read the full story from Illinois Public Media.

After about two years of discussion, the Champaign City Council has signed off on a stormwater utility fee.

Starting next spring, residents will pay roughly $5 to $15 a month for storm sewer operation and maintenance. But larger properties with more impervious area, or buildings and pavement, will pay more.

According to follow-up on the Illinois Public Media Facebook page:

Champaign will be offering one-time incentive payments and recurring tax credits for properties that use storm water mitigation systems. Although the precise details have yet to be worked out, the city is considering a $25 incentive payment for using a rain barrel, and $250 payment for a rain garden. Other, more ambitious mitigation systems could be eligible for recurring tax credits, especially for larger properties. The city of Urbana also plans a similar program under its storm water utility fee proposal.

Details about Champaign credit/incentive plans are available on the city’s website, at this link:

BP Oil Spill Aftermath: Eyeless Shrimp, Clawless Crabs and Fish with Oozing Sores

Read the full post at Gizmodo. Hat tip to Lynda McCann for the link.

Al Jazeera just published an astonishing report on the after-effects of the BP oil disaster, and it’s not pretty. There are an alarming number of deformities in sea creatures: mutated shrimp, fish with sores and lesions, eyeless crabs and more. It’s unlike anything local fisherman have ever seen.

Powered by cooking oil, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner crosses Pacific

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

We’ve always coveted All Nippon Airways‘ business class seats — lay-flat seats? USB ports? local cuisine? sign us up! — but now all that luxury comes at a slightly better price.

No, a flight to Tokyo Haneda airport will still cost as much as a small car. But the environment (and ANA’s CFO) can breathe a bit easier now that Boeing has successfully completed its first-ever transpacific flight running on biofuels with its flagship 787 Dreamliner.

State Energy Efficiency Action Update

Read the full story from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In the past year, 26 states enacted more than 55 bills related to energy efficiency. Much of this legislation focused on addressing the up-front costs of energy efficiency upgrades through financing, similar to many of the renewable energy bills passed in the last year. Legislation also covered energy efficiency standards and goals, green building codes, energy efficiency improvements and promoting energy efficiency and savings.

LED lights “go green” in library parking garage

Read the full story from the Oak Park Public Library.

LED light bulbs are now installed in forty lighting units in Oak Park Public Library’s parking garage at 834 Lake Street. The new LED lights are visibly brighter while using less than half the energy of the replaced bulbs. “The new lights also have a motion-detecting feature and switch to half-power when not activated,” states Facilities Manager Rory ONeill. “Since code requires the garage level to be lit after-hours, motion detection means even more savings.” This change is part of Oak Park Public Library’s ongoing efforts to minimize our impact on the natural environment.

Illinois Water 2012 Call for Papers

This is an invitation to submit abstracts for the 2012 Illinois Water Conference, to be held September 24-25 at the Illini Union, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Over the last 14 years, this biennial conference has drawn agency personnel, academics, students, educators and community members from across the state for a glimpse at the latest scientific discoveries related to our water systems.

Abstracts for oral presentations (professionals) and posters (students) are solicited. We expect that a majority of accepted presentation abstracts will fit within one of the session topics listed below. However, you may submit under the Open Topic category, from which we will develop one or two additional sessions. Student posters are requested as general submissions.

Conference Format
Sessions will be scheduled concurrently for 90-minute periods. Accepted presentations will be allotted approximately 12 minutes with 6 minutes for questions. Student posters will be presented and judged Monday during the evening reception.

How to Submit an Abstract
Please complete the appropriate online form (URLs below) by Friday, May 11. The organizing committee will evaluate each abstract. You will be notified regarding the status of your abstract by May 31.

Professional Abstract Submission:
Student Abstract Submission:

Session Topics
IW01 – Challenges in Attaining Inland Recreational Water Quality Standards for Bacteria
IW02 – Biomass Crops to Enhance Water Quality
IW03 – 2011 Retrospective of Flooding in Illinois
IW04 – Successes and Opportunities in Science Outreach: Engaging the Silent Stakeholder
IW05 – Water Supply Planning in Illinois
IW06 – Ecohydrology: Bridging Ecology and Engineering
IW07 – Phosphorus: Concentrations, Sources and Removal
IW08 – Changing Hydroclimatic Extremes
IW09 – Water Quality Monitoring Through Cross Disciplinary Approaches
IW10 – Water Supply Management in Difficult Economic Times
IW11 – Projections and Planning under Climate Variability and Change
IW12 – Mitigating Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species
IW13 – New Tools, Data and Protocols for Water Planning: Opportunities and Challenges
IW14 – Constructing the Nearshore Lake Michigan Foodweb
IW15 – Open Topic: Specific Session TBD

Session Descriptions
Download the full Call for Papers to read detailed descriptions of each session topic.