Grand jury indicts German shipping company in Great Lakes dumping case

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

A German shipping company faces felony charges for illegal disposal of oil-contaminated material in the Great Lakes and submission of falsified records to the Coast Guard as part of an alleged cover-up.

Call for Great Lakes Stakeholder Participation

Received via e-mail from U.S. EPA.

Hello Great Lakes Basin Stakeholders:

As you may know, the United States and Canada are implementing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 2012. This binational agreement targets many of the significant environmental issues impacting the lakes, including nutrient discharges, toxic hotspots known as “Areas of Concern”, and the introduction of aquatic invasive species. These issues, and several others, are addressed by the 10 individual Annexes to the Agreement, which provide direction and set goals and objectives for the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes.

Unlike most of the other Annexes, the Lakewide Management Annex of the Agreement does not address a singular environmental issue of concern (e.g., nutrients or climate change). Instead, the Annex requires the cooperation of the many governmental partners and the public to look at each Great Lake individually and to develop a Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) for each lake that will address all environmental stressors in the way most appropriate for that particular lake. For example, you may be aware of the imminent finalization of a new Lake Superior LAMP – the first LAMP prepared pursuant to the 2012 Agreement.

The Agreement makes clear that Lakewide Management activities are to be undertaken in conjunction with the public. In the summer and fall of 2015, we hosted basin-wide and lake-specific webinars for interested Great Lakes stakeholders and the general public. The purpose of these webinars was to explain our Lakewide Management Annex work and seek comments on and suggestions for ways in which the government agencies could undertake outreach and engagement with stakeholders and the public. After considering the valuable feedback from those webinars, and taking into account governmental resources and certain federal requirements that apply to interaction with stakeholders, we are establishing a mechanism to obtain input from interested stakeholders, via a two-step process.  The first step is already underway: the individual Lake Partnerships (i.e., the group of federal, state, provincial, tribal and local governments or governmental agencies that oversee the development and implementation of the LAMP) are forming Outreach and Engagement (O&E) subcommittees that will take the lead on engaging with and reaching out to Great Lakes stakeholders on Lake Partnership-related issues.

The second step in this process is to: 1) identify individual stakeholders or stakeholder representatives (i.e., an individual representing a larger organization) who would like to interact with the Lake Partnerships to provide their input on LAMP development and other Partnership activities, and 2) to determine each stakeholders’ desired degree of participation. Some stakeholders may wish to be kept apprised of Lake Partnership activities and receive notice of requests for input on specific issues. Others may wish to more directly interact with the Lake Partnerships by participating in calls/meetings or by submitting written comments.  As noted above, Partnership O&E subcommittees will have the primary responsibility for interacting directly with and collecting the input of individual stakeholders or stakeholder representatives, including hosting periodic calls/meetings to discuss ongoing or upcoming Partnership activities and obtaining direct input. This will include clarifying outreach and engagement scope and purpose, as well as expectations and roles for both the O&E subcommittee and stakeholders.

Consequently, if you or your organization is interested in keeping abreast of Lake Partnership activities for a specific Great Lake, we ask that you send us the following information by June 10, 2016.

  • Name;
  • Organization (if applicable);
  • Great Lake of interest;
  • Degree of involvement desired (i.e., to be kept informed or to participate directly); and
  • E-mail address.

Please send the requested information to the following e-mail addresses:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Chris Korleski                        John Marsden
U.S. EPA                                  Environment and Climate Change Canada

Banned PCBs still haunt Great Lakes

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

PCB emissions may still threaten residents of Chicago and other Great Lakes communities, according to a recently published study that calls for legislation to control the largest sources of the longtime pollutant.

Explore Chicago Collections

Explore Chicago Collections lets researchers, teachers and students search many locations at once. Their unified search lets you locate thousands of archival collections and digital images at member institutions all over the Chicago area.

A search of the site for “pollution” yielded eighteen images, including pollution maps from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Records (pictured below), and fifty-four archival collections, including records from neighborhood environmental groups.

Water Supply and Sewage Treatment: Sources of Pollution Along Little Calumet River
Water Supply and Sewage Treatment: Sources of Pollution Along Little Calumet River [FPDCC_00_01_0015_039, Forest Preserve District of Cook County Records, University of Illinois at Chicago Library.]

New group wants to open flow of water research in Chicago

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

A new project wants to unite Chicago’s entrepreneurs, researchers and utility companies to solve water problems — and fan Chicago’s economic flame along the way.

The public-private partnership is called Current, and it’s being led by World Business Chicago. Current’s goal is to bring water research out of labs and put it into the hands of companies and utilities.