Environment & Weather
Governor Quinn Announces First Project of Illinois Clean Water Initiative PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 14:24

City of Pekin to Receive $4.8 Million Low-Interest Loan to Improve Waste Water Treatment System; Support Almost 400 Jobs

PEKIN – December 4, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Director John Kim, and Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) Executive Director Chris Meister today announced that the first loan of the governor’s Illinois Clean Water Initiative would be awarded to the city of Pekin to improve a wastewater treatment plant. As part of the governor’s $1 billion water infrastructure initiative, the city completed the necessary application and meets the eligibility criteria to qualify for a long-term, low-interest $4.8 million loan, which is being jointly administered by IEPA and the IFA. This project will create or support nearly 400 jobs by improving local water infrastructure.

“Just as Illinois was defined by its waterways, so too was Pekin,” Governor Quinn said. “Built by skilled laborers, this new wastewater treatment facility will protect the health of Pekin’s residents and its waterways. The project is a prime example of how the Illinois Clean Water Initiative is an investment in our environment, health and the creation of good-paying jobs.”

In October, Governor Quinn launched the Illinois Clean Water Initiative to help local governments overhaul aging drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and pipes, and ensure that residents will have access to safe drinking water and that our environment will remain protected. More than 350 local governments have already expressed need for the program. Many Illinois residents are receiving drinking water through water mains that are nearly a century old; and scores of other drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities are in dire need of repair.

The city of Pekin is using the proceeds of this loan to complete phased improvements to its wastewater system that were initiated in 2011. The project cost is nearly $40 million, which utilized previous IEPA loans of $35 million. This major upgrade to Pekin’s wastewater system will provide a significant increase in treatment capacity that will improve the ability of the plant to meet current and future discharge standards. A project summary is attached.

“The Clean Water Initiative will benefit Pekin and other communities greatly with improved infrastructure and reduced risk of environmental harm caused by leaking piping,” said IEPA Director John Kim.

Governor Quinn proposed the Illinois Clean Water Initiative during his State of the State address, and later this year directed the IEPA and the IFA to move forward to access $1 billion in long-term, low-interest loans to local governments for drinking water and wastewater systems across the state. IEPA has lent $4.3 billion to 472 Illinois communities since 1989. There has never been a defaulted loan during the program’s history.

The program provides a substantial increase in the clean water and drinking water low-interest revolving loan programs administered by Illinois EPA. The program provides financing to communities for projects such as wastewater treatment plant upgrades and expansions, new sewer lines, drinking water treatment plant modifications and expansions and new or replacement water distribution systems.

The Pekin Clean Water Initiative will create 190 construction jobs plus approximately 180 associated jobs by equipment suppliers, manufacturers and fabricators, raw material suppliers and fabricators, and utility providers. Pipefitters, plumbers, operating engineers, carpenters, electricians, ironworkers and others will replace broken water mains, build treatment plants, upgrade sewers and prevent environmental threats.

The SRF is funded with annual federal grants, a one-time infusion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds, plus principal and interest from loan repayments. No new state tax dollars will be used. Needed equity will be provided by the existing loan portfolio and future federal capitalization grant dollars.

To learn more about the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, visit CleanWater.Illinois.gov

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Governor Quinn Announces Winners of the 2012 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 12 November 2012 14:22

Awards Recognize Illinois Businesses and Colleges That Promote Green Innovation

OAK BROOK – November 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn Friday announced the winners of the 2012 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards, which recognize college campuses and businesses throughout Illinois that demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the environment through sustainable practices. Since 1987, the awards have been administered on behalf of the Governor by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) at the University of Illinois, a leader in environmental and energy research. This is the first year campuses have been considered for an award.

“Investing in sustainability creates jobs, boosts our economy and is an investment in our future,” Governor Quinn said. “These awards foster innovation and encourage our universities and businesses to help us build a stronger, greener Illinois.”

The Governor’s Sustainability Awards are issued for excellence in environmental sustainability practices and continued improvement. Organizations have also been recognized for their efforts to implement green practices such as energy conservation and innovative sustainable technology use. The actions taken by these groups signify a step forward in environmentally friendly practices for Illinois.

For more information on the winners, please contact Deb Jacobson at 630-472-5019 and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and visit www.istc.illinois.edu.

Governor’s 26th Annual Sustainability Awards Winners:

College Campuses:

Danville Area Community College
DePaul University
Elmhurst College
Illinois Institute of Technology
Joliet Junior College
Heartland Community College
Kankakee Community College
Lewis & Clark Community College
Lewis University
Lincoln Land Community College
Moraine Valley Community College
Northwestern University
Northwestern College
Roosevelt University
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Southwestern Illinois College
Triton College
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Waubonsee Community College
Wilbur Wright College

 

Businesses:

Advocate Health Care
Caterpillar Inc., Global R&D Headquarters
CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
City of Moline
Clarke
County of Will
Farmland Foods, Inc.
Flex-N-Gate Urbana
Fluorecycle, Inc.
Knauz Automotive Group
The Label Printers L.P.
Lawrence Foods, Inc.
Naperville Park District
Naval Station Great Lakes
The Peterson Garden Project
Quaker Foods & Snacks, Bridgeview Facility
Testa Produce, Inc.
Vaughan & Bushnell Mfg. Co.
Village of Schaumburg
Wight & Company

 

 
Join Us Nov. 15 and Celebrate America Recycles Day! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brandy Welvaert   
Monday, 12 November 2012 09:00
Celebrate America Recycles Day by touring Electronic Demanufacturing Facility

Davenport, Iowa —Don’t go “Office Space” on your old computer! Instead, bring it to us—and watch as we tear it apart.

Yes, we’re referencing the 1999 comedy, “Office Space,” in which a piece of offending office equipment is smashed to bits by an unbalanced cubicle dweller. And yes, we really do want to tear apart your old computer right in front of you—before we recycle its pieces, of course.

In celebration of America Recycles Day, the public is invited to tour the Electronic Demanufacturing Facility, 1048 E. 59th St., Davenport, Iowa, from 1 to 3 p.m., or from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 15. Tour-goers are invited to bring their recyclable electronics and watch as technicians demanufacture some of them—the first step in the recycling process.

The free event is being hosted by Waste Commission of Scott County and iLivehere Quad Cities, a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate, which is housed by the Commission. On America Recycles Day, affiliates across the U.S. host activities to educate people about recycling, with the ultimate goal of motivating everyone to recycle more. Details are online at www.americarecyclesday.org.

“This is the first time we have invited residents to watch as we take apart their old electronics,” said Keith Krambeck, special waste manager for Waste Commission of Scott County. “We’re excited to give tour-goers the opportunity to peek ‘behind the curtain,’ so to speak. Of course the ultimate goal of showcasing the work that we do is to inspire people to recycle their electronics responsibly, thereby diverting harmful materials from the landfill.”

RSVP for the event is required. Residents should call (563) 468-4218 or e-mail Paula Webinger, education specialist, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Residents are asked to indicate which tour they wish to attend—1-3 or 6-8 p.m.—and the number of attendees in the group. Each tour will be limited to 50 participants.

Individuals are invited to bring their e-waste to the event at no charge. A list of acceptable items is online at www.wastecom.com. The event is not open to businesses, nor will business waste be accepted. Information about business recycling also is online at www.wastecom.com.

Can’t make it to the event, but have e-waste? No problem! Residents of Scott (Iowa) and Rock Island (Illinois) counties may drop off e-waste any time during regular facility hours (7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday) at no charge. Bettendorf and Davenport residents with curbside collection may place e-waste at the curb as bulky waste on their recycling days.

The Electronic Demanufacturing Facility, operated by Waste Commission of Scott County, provides residents and businesses throughout Iowa and Western Illinois an environmentally sound and economically feasible disposal option for electronic waste (e-waste). Earlier this year, the facility became the first public agency in the world and the only agency in the state of
Iowa to receive Responsible Recycling (R2) certification.

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency established in 1972 to provide solid waste management services for Scott County, Iowa.

For more information about the Electronic Demanufacturing Facility or about recycling e-waste, call (563) 823-0119 or visit www.wastecom.com.

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Governor Quinn Deploys More Illinois Responders to Assist New York in Hurricane Sandy Response PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 11:10

Eight-member Incident Management Team Will Help NY State

 

SPRINGFIELD – November 5, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the deployment of an eight-member Incident Management Team (IMT) to New York State to assist with emergency response and recovery efforts. The team will be deployed to Long Island for 14 days.

The IMT members will receive their specific assignments when they arrive in New York on Tuesday.  Their duties could include assisting state and local emergency responders with planning, continuity of emergency operations, resource tracking, situational analysis, logistical support, receipt and distribution of supplies and equipment, managing staging areas and other duties critical to the response effort.

“Hurricane Sandy was one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history,” Governor Quinn said. “The recovery will last for many months, probably even years.  We have assured New York and the other impacted states that Illinois is ready, willing and able to help them through this difficult time.”

The responders hail from across the state.  Team members reported to IEMA’s headquarters in Springfield this morning to receive event identification, mission and safety briefings and mobilization assistance. This process ensures the accountability and readiness of personnel and assets before departure.

This deployment is the second from Illinois in response to Hurricane Sandy.  Last week, 14 emergency managers were deployed to New York City to help with 24/7 operations in the city’s emergency operations center.  That team is expected to return to Illinois on Nov. 16.  Both deployments were in response to requests from New York through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

IEMA, the Illinois National Guard and other Illinois public safety agencies are standing by, ready to provide assistance in response to further EMAC requests.

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Sandy Survivor Shares Tips PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 05 November 2012 16:33
No. 1 Best Investment is a Generator, He Says
By: Louis Scatigna

I live in Jackson, N.J., about 10 miles inland, and did not get the devastating storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. And yet, I have never experienced such a catastrophic weather event.

High winds brought down thousands of trees, taking out power lines and crashing into homes. The destruction here is something I never imagined I would see.

The Mantoloking Bridge, where the sea came into the bay, is where I crab all summer. It's now crumpled in the water, surrounded by flooded homes. It’s heartbreaking to see images of the place you love destroyed.

Since most homes did not have power or internet immediately after the storm, we did not get to see the images of ravaged iconic Jersey Shore towns like Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant, Manasquan, Mantoloking, Atlantic City and Asbury Park. Local residents are shocked at the extent of the devastation revealed in newspaper photos. Entire shore towns are gone; there is nothing left.

People are starting to lose it by the day; they’ve never gone so long without power. People in New York are eating from Dumpsters. The lines for gas, if you can find it, are miles long. A few more days like this and I worry civilization will start to break down.

Thankfully, my family is OK. I'm nutty about preparation, so we have everything we need. It is so important to be prepared for disaster.

Since I had a generator and plenty of fuel, the loss of power was tolerable. I was able to run my refrigerator and freezer, charge my cell phone and iPad, light my house and watch DVDs on the flat screen. The biggest complaint from those without generators has been boredom.

My 4G iPad was a lifesaver. I was able to tune into local radio stations and keep up with the news; view pictures and videos of the devastation; and play games to pass the time.

Water is worth its weight in gold during a crisis, you can never have too much. Canned food, candles, flashlights and batteries are other must-have prep items.

It is very difficult to get gasoline as many stations have no power or have not had any gas delivered. There are mile-long lines at the stations that do have power and gas. The traffic around them is incredible -- it’s a wild scene!

Why did so many people have so little gas that they would line up for hours to fill their tank? Because they did not prepare for the major disaster that had been forecast for the greater part of a week. My three cars are all full because I filled up BEFORE the storm.

The Jersey Shore will come back, but it will take a very long time. I feel a profound sadness seeing the beautiful shore destroyed and witnessing the suffering of those who have lost everything.

Please use this tragedy to prepare your family for disaster natural or man made. The best investment you can make is a generator. Buy one BEFORE a crisis hits.

About Louis Scatigna

Louis Scatigna is a Certified Financial Planner, national radio talk show host and author of The Financial Physician: How To Cure Your Money Problems and Boost Your Financial Health (www.thefinancialphysician.com). Lou is a regular guest on both national and local television programs and has been quoted in hundreds of publications and Web sites. He also provides additional comments and advice on his daily blog.

 
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