Environment & Weather
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AT THE Lost Grove Lake Cleanup PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Clare Kerofsky   
Monday, 22 August 2011 08:21

Saturday, September 17th, 2011  

8:30-11:30am  

Meet at Lost Grove Lake, Scott County  

Parking lot south of 260th Street  

Between 220th Avenue and 230th Avenue      

Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District, Waste Commission of Scott County and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are holding a cleanup at Lost Grove Lake, Saturday, September 17th, 2011 from 8:30-11:30am. Tire removal is the main need at the site.      

Volunteers will meet at Lost Grove Lake, Scott County, in the parking lot south of 260th Street between 220th Avenue and 230th Avenue.

To RSVP for the cleanup or for more information, contact Clare Kerofsky with the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District, 563-391-1403 ext. 3 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

 

 
Braley to Tour Flood Damage in Dubuque & Jackson Counties PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kira Ayish   
Friday, 19 August 2011 08:22

Washington, DC – Tomorrow, Rep. Bruce Braley will visit Dubuque and Jackson Counties to tour flood damage that occurred from severe storms on July 27-29, 2011.

Rep. Braley will meet with Jackson County officials and tour county roads and bridges that sustained damage during the recent flooding. Later in the afternoon, Rep. Braley will tour the City of Dubuque and meet with Dubuque officials to see flood damage across the city and throughout Dubuque County. In addition to touring the damage, Rep. Braley will receive an update on flood recovery efforts by local officials who are working on public infrastructure and potential buyouts of private residences.

***TOMORROW***

WHAT: Rep. Braley to meet with Jackson County officials to tour county roads and bridges that sustained damage during the recent flooding.

WHEN: FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 12:00-12:45 PM CDT

WHERE: Kalmes Restaurant, 100 N. Main Street, St. Donatus, IA 52071

There will be a press avail at 12:00 PM CDT.  Media is encouraged to attend the tour with Rep. Braley and Jackson County officials after the press avail.   

WHAT: Rep. Braley to meet with Dubuque officials to tour flood damage and receive an update on recovery efforts.

WHEN: FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 1:45-2:30 PM CDT

WHERE: Swiss Valley Nature Preserve, 13606 Swiss Valley Road, Dubuque, IA 52003

There will be a press avail at 1:45 PM CDT. Media is encouraged to attend the tour with Rep. Braley and Dubuque officials after the press avail.

 
Herbert Hoover NHS News Release: Park Rangers Lead Prairie Walks on Labor Day, September 5 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Adam Prato   
Friday, 19 August 2011 08:17
WEST BRANCH, IOWA— Explore Iowa’s prairie heritage on Labor Day Monday, September 5 at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Ranger-guided walks of the 81-acre tallgrass prairie will start at 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Meet at the Gravesite Parking Lot.

A park ranger will discuss how and why the National Park Service is restoring this endangered habitat as part of the landscape commemorating Herbert Hoover’s life. The walk is less than a mile and lasts about one hour. Bring water, dress for the weather, and wear comfortable walking shoes. Hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and insect repellent are also recommended. Parking is limited so please allow extra time to find a parking space.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. For more information go online at www.nps.gov/heho or call (319) 643-2541.

 
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Create Environmental Justice Commission PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Andrew Mason   
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 12:57

Law Will Help Protect Communities from Undue Environmental Harm  

CHICAGO – August 16, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation calling for an assessment of Illinois’ environmental laws and policies to ensure that no segment of the population will disproportionately bear the adverse environmental and health effects caused by pollution.  

“Race, income or nationality should not determine the quality of the air one breathes or the water one drinks,” Governor Quinn said. “We want to make sure that all Illinois families live in healthy communities. This commission will help us strengthen environmental laws so that every Illinois resident has clean air and clean water.”     

Senate Bill 2193, sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and Rep. Will Davis (D- East Hazel Crest), creates the Environmental Justice Act and the Commission on Environmental Justice.  The commission is tasked with reviewing and analyzing current state laws and policies. Based upon review, the commission will make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly to address environmental justice concerns.  

“As a mother of three, I’m personally committed to making sure that all children grow up in communities where clean air and water are protected so that they can develop into health adults,” said Sen. Hutchinson. “The aim of this council will be geared towards ensuring that a person’s income, age, race or nationality does not mean they must be relegated to living in an unsafe environment. I thank Governor Quinn for recognizing this fact by signing this bill into law.”  

The new law addresses concerns about rising asthma rates and other health indicators in parts of the state, especially in minority communities. Medical researchers have observed a connection between types of industry present in a community and childhood asthma rates.   

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is tasked with providing the commission with administrative and other support. The membership will comprise designated members of the General Assembly, community members, environmental and business organizations, health experts, local government and members of the public with expertise in environmental justice. In addition to IEPA, the council includes members from the Departments on Aging, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Natural Resources, Public Health and Transportation.  

The new law goes into effect immediately. 

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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Increase Electronics Recycling in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Andrew Mason   
Thursday, 11 August 2011 23:51

Legislation Modernizes Illinois’ Recycling Laws

CHICAGO – August 10, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will take a major step to increase e-recycling in Illinois. The new law overhauls the state’s Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act by requiring more electronic products to be recycled, increasing recycling goals for Illinois’ manufacturers and strengthening penalties for those who do not follow the law.

“This law will keep reusable materials from filling our landfills, and it will help us put people to work giving those materials new uses,” said Governor Quinn. “Today’s action reinforces our commitment to a green Illinois that continues to be a leader in protecting the environment.”

Senate Bill 2106, sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) and Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), expands the types of electronic products that will be subject to the state’s landfill ban. Current law requires computer monitors, televisions and printers to be diverted from landfills. Under the new law, the list of items required to be recycled is expanded to include keyboards, portable music devices, scanners, videocassette recorders, video game consoles and more.

“Governor Quinn has made the recycling of e-waste a top environmental priority for the state, which is why Illinois is a leader on removing electronics from our waste stream,” said Sen. Garrett.

“This bill not only prevents toxic substances from entering into the ground,” said Rep. Biss. “But it also encourages the continued rapid growth of the e-recycling industry, supporting small businesses around the state that have created thousands of new jobs in recent years.”

The new law also increases recycling goals for Illinois manufacturers. For example, in 2012 manufacturers will be required to recycle 40 percent of the products they sold in 2010. According to the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the new goals mean that statewide e-recycling will increase from 28 million pounds in 2011 to over 50 million pounds in 2012. The dramatic increase in recycling efforts is expected to create jobs for Illinois residents.

“This legislation will keep toxins out of our air and water while conserving valuable resources and creating jobs,” said Melville Nickerson, Policy Advocate for the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “The Environmental Law & Policy Center looks forward to working together with manufacturers to implement this recycling bill and create a cleaner environment in Illinois."

The fine for violations of the new law will increase $1,000 to $7,000. It also gives the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency greater regulatory authority for violations of the act. Additionally, the bill requires manufacturers to maintain consumer education programs designed to inform customers of proper disposal policies for electronic products. The new law takes effect immediately.

Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 2001, sponsored by Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) and Sen. John Millner (R-Carol Stream), which strengthens penalties for criminal disposal of waste. The law, which takes effect immediately, reclassifies the initial and all subsequent violations as felonies, lowers the violation threshold and increases fines to $25,000, up from $5,000.

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