Environment & Weather
Governor Quinn Signs Bill to Ban Microbeads, Protect Illinois Waterways PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Monday, 09 June 2014 10:07

Illinois Now First State in the Nation to Prevent Use of Personal Care Products Containing Synthetic Plastics

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to make Illinois the first state in the nation to ban the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing synthetic plastic microbeads. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

“Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow,” Governor Quinn said. “Lake Michigan and the many rivers and lakes across our state are among our most important natural resources. We must do everything necessary to safeguard them."

Senate Bill 2727, sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans and State Representative Jaime Andrade Jr., makes Illinois the first state to ban microbeads in personal care products. The new law will require synthetic microbeads to be removed from manufacturing by the end of 2018 and bans the sale of such items by the end of 2019 in Illinois.

“Lake Michigan is a critically important natural resource for our state, and its health affects recreation, tourism and the flourishing of aquatic plant and animal species,” Senator Steans said. “I’m proud that Illinois is an environmental leader, taking the first step away from plastic microbeads toward natural exfoliants, and I’m optimistic that we’ve started a nationwide movement to protect not just the Great Lakes, but other bodies of water with high concentrations of microbeads.”

"This legislation is a tremendous first step in protecting our precious natural resource, Lake Michigan, from plastic pollutants,” Representative Andrade said. “This bill would not have been possible without relentless support from our Governor, the business community, and the environmental groups that worked together for this legislation to pass both the Senate and the House unanimously."

“We are very pleased today to see Governor Quinn take action to make Illinois the first state in the nation to ban microbeads from personal care products,” Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jennifer Walling said. “It is great to see Illinois be first in the nation at protecting our Great Lakes from plastics pollution."

Governor Quinn has been a strong advocate for protecting Illinois' environment, including the 2012 launch of the Illinois Clean Water Initiative (ICWI). The ICWI has created thousands of jobs across Illinois and allows local governments to access low-interest loans for a variety of wastewater and drinking water projects.

The Governor also signed legislation to prevent landfills from being built or expanding in Cook County and has dedicated $10 million in state funding to improve water quality in Chicago area waterways.

Under the Governor’s leadership, the Illinois EPA proposed three new recreational uses for the Chicago Area Waterway System and the Lower Des Plaines River. These new use designations were approved by USEPA and will lead to disinfection of wastewater treatment plant effluent discharging to the primary contact waterway segments.

Since Fiscal Year 2011, thirty-six grants totaling almost $15 million, have been made available to local units of government and other organizations to demonstrate green infrastructure best management practices to control stormwater runoff for water quality protection in Illinois.

Governor Quinn has also forged partnerships with seven nations through the Sister Rivers and Sister Lakes program to share ideas about such challenges as agricultural run-off, invasive species and pollution while boosting tourism and eco-awareness.


Governor Branstad activates Iowa Individual Assistance Program for Cass, Harrison, Montgomery, Pottawattamie and Ringgold counties PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 09 June 2014 09:42

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad has issued a proclamation of disaster emergency and activated the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for Cass, Harrison, Montgomery, and Ringgold counties in response to recent storms. Additionally, Pottawattamie County, which was already declared to be under a disaster emergency on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, will be opened to individual assistance.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a maximum annual income of $39,580, for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available at the “Disaster Assistance” link on the Iowa Department of Human Services website: www.dhs.iowa.gov.


News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brad Anderson   
Friday, 06 June 2014 14:57
(Des Moines) – This Sunday Iowans will gather in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport to go door-to-door collecting signatures in support of the newly announced proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants, a major driver of climate change.

“As a parent of two young children, I believe it is my responsibility to ensure my kids are left with a sustainable climate, clean air to breath and an innovative, 21st century economy to start a career,” said Des Moines parent William Rock, who will be knocking doors in Des Moines on Sunday.  “I refuse to stand on the sidelines during this important debate on climate change, which is why I’m going door-to-door to urge Iowans to support the new rules to limit carbon pollution.”

The canvasses are open to the media and individual canvassers will be available to interview.



•    What:  Launch of door-to-door canvass in support of new rules to limit carbon pollution.
•    Where:  Java Joes coffee, 214 4th St, Des Moines
•    When:  Launch is at 12:00.  Canvass is from 12:00 – 2:00 PM.
•    Media Contact:  Josh Skipworth, 319-499-0765, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


•    What:  Launch of door-to-door canvass in support of new rules to limit carbon pollution.
•    Where:  Java Joes coffee, 836 E River Dr, Davenport
•    When:  Launch is at 11:00 AM.  Canvass is from 11:00 – 1:00 PM.
•    Media Contact:  Kirk Cychosz, 715-630-9912, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


•    What:  Launch of door-to-door canvass in support of new rules to limit carbon pollution.
•    Where:  New Bo Market, 1100 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids
•    When:  Launch is at 4:00 PM.  Canvass is from 4:00 – 6:00 PM.
•    Media Contact:  Tim Mahern-Macias, 402-980-9399, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Anheuser-Busch Surprises Chad Pregracke and Living Lands & Water with $90,000 Donation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Lindsey Herzog   
Friday, 06 June 2014 11:47

To celebrate World Environment Day, Anheuser-Busch employees spent the day sorting through 30,000 pounds of trash removed from the Mississippi River and beautifying the Soulard neighborhood with the help of Chad Pregracke, found Living Lands & Waters and winner of CNN’s 2013 Hero award.

That’s not the only way Anheuser-Busch gave back today, though. After the clean-up, A-B surprised Pregracke and Living Lands & Waters with a $90,000 donation. Anheuser-Busch has had a strong relationship with Pregracke for many years and was excited to honor his commitment to the environment.

Anheuser-Busch was also honored today by Missouri Speaker of the House and State Representative Timothy Jones, who issued a proclamation to A-B in recognition of the company’s environmental efforts.

View photos from today’s World Environment Day efforts here.

Ranger to Lead Family Campfire Program on West Branch Village Green PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Adam Prato   
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 14:52

WEST BRANCH, IOWA— Join a national park ranger for an evening family campfire program at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site on Saturday, June 14. The program is free and begins at 9:00 p.m. The ranger will discuss how national parks restore and preserve remnants of our nation’s once vast tallgrass prairie.

The campfire program takes place on the village green at the intersection of Parkside Drive and Main Street in historic downtown West Branch.  Visitors and their families are welcome to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on, and toasting sticks and marshmallows.

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.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

110 Parkside Drive

PO Box 607

West Branch, Iowa 52358

319 643-2541 phone

319 643-7864 fax


Twitter: @HooverNPS

Facebook: HerbertHooverNHS

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