Water Survey receives grant to sample wells in disadvantaged areas of Chicago

Read the full story from the Illinois State Water Survey.

Evan Rea, head of the Health and Environmental Applications Laboratory (HEAL) at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I), was recently awarded a grant by the U of I Chancellor’s Office to sample private wells in the Chicago metro area. The Chancellor’s Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program provides $2 million annually to U of I researchers to support projects that address systematic racism and social justice, law enforcement and criminal justice reform, and disparities in health and health care.

Rea says that it is a great fit to look at the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities in private well water quality, as well as to promote good well stewardship for well owners in an underserved area. 

Horror writers reveal their environmental fears

Read the full story at The Revelator.

The “invisible monsters” of climate change and extinction stalk us all, but these experts in terror also remind us that fighting monsters helps create hope.

She warned the grain elevator would disrupt sacred Black history. They deleted her findings.

Read the full story at ProPublica.

A whistleblower says a plan to build a grain elevator on an old plantation would disrupt important historic sites, including possibly unmarked graves of enslaved people, and that her cultural resource management firm tried to bury her findings.

A marvelous morning of migratory bird banding

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Birds throughout the world are in trouble, and habitat loss is one of multiple reasons for their decline. Understanding the birds’ life cycles and habitat requirements during migration is becoming increasingly important – especially as climate change continues to affect the world.

Collaborative bird banding helps fill in the knowledge gaps, which is why I do this work. This bird-banding station is in its fourth year of operation, and this is an ideal location for it. The Phillips Tract is a mix of plots, including – but not limited to – tallgrass prairie and old field/successional woods. Another lure for birds choosing to use this site is that the Saline Branch of the Salt Fork River runs through it, giving them access to the fresh, readily moving water they need.

Apple calls on suppliers to decarbonize operations by 2030

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

Apple said Tuesday that it is urging suppliers to vastly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the tech giant works to make its entire supply chain carbon neutral by 2030. 

The company is asking manufacturers to decarbonize Apple-related operations by taking steps such as running on 100% renewable electricity. Apple will track progress through yearly audits.

As part of the company’s overarching sustainability goals, Apple also announced plans to construct large-scale solar and wind projects in Europe with projects ranging between 30 and 300 megawatts. The goal of the projects is to produce enough renewable energy to power all devices on the continent with low-carbon electricity.

‘It’s like a death:’ What it’s like to leave one flood-prone community

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

In this stretch of the Mid-Atlantic, waters are rising at among the fastest rates in the world — a U.S. government station in Myrtle Beach has recorded nearly 10 inches of sea level rise since the late 1950s, and the trend has accelerated in recent years. Add to thatmore intense hurricanes, torrential rainstorms, feverish development that alters water flow and other factors, and more and more communities like this one find themselves in the path of floodwaters.

Already, according to one seminal study that examined voluntary buyouts between 1989 and 2017, the government has paid for more than 43,000 buyouts of flood-prone properties across 49 states and more than 1,100 counties.

Those numbers are set to grow.

Air pollution tweets from U.S. embassies saving lives, study finds

Read the full story at e360.

By tweeting real-time local pollution data in developing countries, U.S. embassies helped spur measurable improvements in air quality, a new study finds.

In 2008, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing began tweeting air quality readings from a new pollution monitor, drawing public attention to hazardous levels of particulate matter in the Chinese capital. By 2020, U.S. embassies in 38 developing countries were live-tweeting air quality readings, providing regular updates on pollution levels in cities where such data may be lacking.

Melodea extends its sustainable packaging coatings to US markets

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

Green-tech start-up Melodea, producer of sustainable barrier coatings for packaging, has plans to expand its eco-friendly solution to more areas. The move is set to support increased production capacity of its plastic-free, plant-based barrier coatings to help the US and South American markets.

How impact accounting can accelerate corporate emissions reductions

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The GHG Protocol helped catalyze a generation of renewable energy procurement, but it’s starting to show its age. A proposed new approach focuses more directly on the emissions impact of electricity generation and consumption.

Recycling plastic is practically impossible — and the problem is getting worse

Read the full story from NPR.

The vast majority of plastic that people use, and in many cases put into blue recycling bins, is headed to landfills, or worse, according to a report from Greenpeace on the state of plastic recycling in the U.S.

The report cites separate data published this May which revealed that the amount of plastic actually turned into new things has fallen to new lows of around 5%. That number is expected to drop further as more plastic is produced.

Greenpeace found that no plastic — not even soda bottles, one of the most prolific items thrown into recycling bins — meets the threshold to be called “recyclable” according to standards set by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastic Economy Initiative. Plastic must have a recycling rate of 30% to reach that standard; no plastic has ever been recycled and reused close to that rate.