Environment & Weather
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Courtney Boothe   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:35

Refurbished Condos Will Feature Huge Green Space On Roof


Muscatine, IA (September 2012) – Installation of green roof on the The Pearl View Condos of Muscatine, Iowa is happening now through the end of the day on Friday.  The condos, located in the newly refurbished Hotel Muscatine, will feature over 2,000 square feet of green roof. The roof will be covered with the LiveRoof® 6” Deep System. It will feature two custom sedum base mixes with over 30 unique varieties.  Walkways and a patio will create an enjoyable space for both entertaining and enjoying the exquisite views of the Mississippi River. Four custom grass and wildflower mixes are being used, totaling 26 different perennial accent varieties.


Besides being beautiful, the green roof’s vegetation soaks up rainfall and reduces storm water runoff.  The green roof helps reduce rooftop temperatures during summer, thereby protecting and extending the life of the roof membrane.  Green roofs are estimated to double the life of roofing materials and they work as insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs.  In addition to using plants that are well-established in soil specially engineered for the extremes of a rooftop environment, the LiveRoof® System also features a patent-pending hybrid design combining the best features of all green roof systems. The LiveRoof® System reduces labor costs to maintain compared to most systems, since the established plants thrive as their own living mulch.


About Roof Top Sedums: Roof Top Sedums was established in 2007 and is a Regional LiveRoof® Licensed Grower servicing Iowa, Western Illinois, Eastern Nebraska, Eastern Kansas, and most of Missouri.  The business is 100% women-owned and certified nationally as a Women’s Business Enterprise.  Co-founder Roxanne Nagel explains, “Green roofs have become widely accepted as an integral part of sustainable renovations. We are equally excited about the future of LiveWall® and our role to provide an exceptional product in our region.”  For more information on projects previously grown by Roof Top Sedums or information about the LiveRoof® System, visit www.rooftopsedums.com.


Governor Quinn Vetoes “Plastic Bag” Bill, Calls it a Roadblock to Innovation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:01

Victory for environment

CHICAGO – August 26, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today vetoed a bill which would have removed the right of home rule communities to implement innovative solutions to the plastic bag litter problem. In his veto message, the governor said the bill is more restrictive on municipalities than any other plastic bag regulation in the country, which would have created a roadblock for locals to choose policies that fit the needs of the area.

The governor also reiterated his commitment to working with communities, businesses and advocates to pass a better bill in the next legislative session to increase recycling.

“Justice Louis Brandeis once called states the ‘laboratories of democracy’ for our nation. Let’s not tie the hands of innovative Illinois municipalities that are laboratories of reform for Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “While well-intentioned, this legislation is a roadblock to innovation that would do little to boost recycling in Illinois. We can do better."

Senate Bill 3442, also known as the “plastic bag” bill, would have required manufacturers to register with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and stamp a number on each plastic bag. The bill would have outlawed the purchase of plastic bags from non-registered manufacturers and prohibited municipalities from enacting their own recycling programs, fees or outright bans on plastic bags.

The bill was opposed by the Illinois Municipal League and 150 municipalities who saw it as an undermining of home rule. Under the 1970 Illinois Constitution, home rule enables municipalities to exercise greater control over local problems. Illinois currently has 209 home rule units whose authority would have been weakened by this bill.

“This bill was an assault on the principle of home rule and the idea that innovations can come from municipalities,” said Mayor Don Gerard of Champaign, whose City Council was moving towards regulation of plastic bags in retail stores. “If the City of Champaign and other towns want to put a fee on plastic bags or ban them or do nothing, it should be our choice.”

Municipalities around the nation are tackling the plastic bag litter problem with innovative methods. Washington D.C., for example, has imposed a nickel per bag fee which has reduced plastic bag usage by 80 percent. Outright bans have been enacted by 40 local governments in California (including San Francisco and Los Angeles County), Seattle, Austin and elsewhere.

Plastic bag litter is a growing and expensive problem throughout the nation. Plastic bags are found tangled in trees, littering waterways and harming wildlife. Governor Quinn is committed to enacting policies that prevent pollution and safeguard our communities and natural resources. Today’s veto received praise from environmental advocates.

“With this veto, Governor Quinn has completed the 2012 legislative session with a perfect record for the environment,” said Jennifer Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council.

“Illinois has a history of upholding home rule authority. This bill would have handcuffed communities wishing to implement innovative solutions,” said the Sierra Club’s Jack Darin, one of 14 signers of a letter from religious and environmental groups urging a veto.

In addition, Governor Quinn noted the efforts of 13-year old Abby Goldberg, whose online petition drive to stop the bill garnered 175,000 signatures. Last year, the 7th grader at Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake, Illinois, was given the assignment in her environmental awareness class to design an environmental project. She decided to convince her village board to enact a ban on plastic bags. When she learned that a bill was moving through the Legislature to prevent Grayslake and other towns from enacting such a ban, she took action.

“I love animals. When I saw birds and turtles choked by plastic bags, it hurt,” Goldberg said. “I’ve learned that no matter what your age, you can make a difference.”

Opponents to the bill and those urging a veto include the Illinois Municipal League, Northwest Municipal Conference, nearly 150 municipalities, Sierra Club, Illinois Environmental Council, Environment Illinois, Illinois Recycling Association, Chicago Recycling Coalition, Prairie River Network, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Natural Resources Defense Council, Faith in Place, Protestants for the Common Good, Illinois Policy Institute, Surfrider Chicago, Center for Oceanic Awareness, the 175,000 signers of Abby Goldberg’s online petition and others.


Environmental Agencies Invite Public to Discuss Muscatine Air Quality Issues and Participation Opportunities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kris Lancaster   
Friday, 17 August 2012 14:21

(Kansas City, Kan., Aug. 21, 2012) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 and Iowa Department of Natural Resources will host two public availability and informational sessions to share Muscatine air quality information and public participation opportunities Aug. 28 at the Environmental Learning Center in Discovery Park.

The event is free and open to the public.  Subject matter experts will be available to answer questions on all air quality issues including specific air pollution types, monitoring and community resources.  Materials and information will be available in English and Spanish.

WHO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

WHAT: Public Availability and Information Sessions on Muscatine Air Quality

WHERE: Environmental Learning Center, Discovery Park, 3300 Cedar St., Muscatine Iowa

WHEN: 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., Aug. 28, 2012

Each session will be identical so the public can choose the session they would like to attend.

 # # #

Governor Quinn Statement on Declaration of All Illinois Counties as Eligible for Drought Relief PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 17 August 2012 13:57

CHICAGO – August 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement following the announcement by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declaring the remaining two Illinois counties, DuPage and Will, as eligible for drought relief.

“Illinois’ hard-working farmers are the backbone of our economy,” Governor Quinn said.  “I am grateful Secretary Vilsack granted my request to declare the entire state an agriculture disaster area to help our farmers recover from this devastating drought.”  I thank Senator Durbin and Secretary Vilsack for their commitment to helping our impacted farming communities.”

As record drought conditions impacted the entire state of Illinois Governor Quinn worked with Senator Durbin, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation to request a Secretarial Disaster Declaration for every county in Illinois. Today’s announcement makes all 102 Illinois counties eligible for federal disaster assistance through the US Dept. of Agriculture.

For more information, please visit Drought.Illinois.gov.


Xstream Cleanup Results: VOLUNTEERS CLEAN UP OVER 47,000 LBS OF MATERIAL PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Vorac   
Monday, 13 August 2012 13:01
QUAD CITIES—Volunteers at the ninth annual Xstream Cleanup on Saturday, August 11 removed approximately 47,407 pounds of debris from area waterways and illegal dumpsites. Cleanups were held at 43 locations in Bettendorf, Buffalo, Davenport, LeClaire, McCausland and Lost Grove Lake, in Iowa; Milan, Moline, Rock Island and Silvis, in Illinois.

• 1,476 volunteers worked a total of 4,226 hours and collectively gathered 1,499 bags of trash, 658 tires, 16 appliances, 16 bicycles, 22 pieces of furniture, 37 televisions and 16 mattresses. This was the equivalent of 28,840 pounds of trash, 15,744 pounds of tires, 1,200 pounds of appliances, 368 pounds of bicycles, 330 pounds of televisions and 925 pounds of mattresses for a grand total of 47,407 pounds. In addition, volunteers removed 46,060 pounds of material from Living Lands and Waters’ barge. The material was hand sorted by volunteers and 30,000 pounds were recycled.
Additional items found, not reflected in the pounds above, included:
• Construction-related items: wire fencing, wood, metal, construction debris, road construction sign, barricade, tarp, barrels, chain link fence.
• Weaponry: partial gun, knife, BB gun, handgun without the barrel (turned into police), holster & bullets.
• Children’s-related items: slippy slide, kiddie pools, bounce house, stroller, scooter, Batman belt, basketball, soccer ball, goal post.
• Automotive-related items: car parts, car bumper, windshield, 25 car batteries, car fender, tire rim, motorcycle front end, engine block.
• Home-related items: box spring, bed frame, kitchen sink, carpet, toilet, bathroom sink, vacuum cleaner, grill, grill cover, lawn chair, futon.
• Miscellaneous items: wedding dress, backpack, high heels, jewelry, a concrete elephant, moonshine parts, purse and several drivers’ licenses, wallet with driver’s license, dollar bill, check, cash register.
In addition, this year the following locations worked on beautification efforts:

• Greenvalley Nature Preserve in Moline: chipped 10 yards of European Buckthorn.
• Fairmount Cemetery in Davenport: removed one 50 foot long by 15 foot wide trailer of brush from the prairie.
• Nahant Marsh in Davenport: removed seven 12 foot trailers of brush from the prairie.
Photos of several cleanup sites can be viewed on-line at www.xstreamcleanup.org

This event was sponsored by the following:

Presenting Sponsors: Group O and Riverboat Development Authority.
Platinum Sponsors: Alcoa, iLivehere® and Living Lands & Waters.
Gold Sponsors: Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, Iowa American Water, Rock Island County Waste Management Agency and The Moline Foundation.
Silver Sponsors: Alter Metal Recycling, DHL Global Forwarding, Independent Insurance Agents of Scott County, McCarthy-Bush Corporation, Oystar Packaging Technologies, Quad City Conservation Alliance, Radish magazine, Sears Seating and Wallace’s Garden Center.
Bronze Sponsors: Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Downtown Davenport Partnership, Eastern Iowa Grain Inspection, Mel Foster Company, Midas Auto Systems Experts and THE National Bank.
Logistics Sponsors: Cities of Bettendorf, Buffalo, Davenport, LeClaire, McCausland, Milan, Moline, Rock Island and Silvis. Allied Waste, Bi-State Regional Commission, Keep Rock Island Beautiful, Partners of Scott County Watersheds, River Roots Live and Waste Commission of Scott County.


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