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by Ellyn Fortino
2:18pm
Thu Jun 19, 2014

Report: 6 Million Pounds Of Toxic Industrial Pollution Discharged Into Illinois Waterways (VIDEO)

Industrial facilities discharged 6.1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Illinois' rivers and streams in 2012, shows a new report by the Environment Illinois Research & Education Center.

The "Wasting Our Waterways" report ranks Illinois as the 13th worst U.S. state for the total volume of toxic industrial releases to waterways.

At the national level, polluting facilities dumped 206 million pounds of harmful chemicals into American waterways in 2012, according to the report. And some 8.39 million pounds of toxic pollution were discharged into the Great Lakes watershed. Ammonia, chromium and lead are among the chemicals released into Illinois' waterways, according to the report.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:49pm
Tue Jun 3, 2014

Pending SCOTUS Case Could Significantly Affect Public Employee Unions

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling sometime this month on a case that could potentially deal a hard blow to public employee unions nationwide. Progress Illinois takes a look at the possible implications of the Harris v. Quinn case.

Quick Hit
by
5:06pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Op-Ed: Harris v. Quinn: A Personal View

The following is by Keith Kelleher, founder and President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, and an International Vice-President of SEIU. 

As I follow progress of the latest anti-labor lawsuit, Harris v. Quinn, I’m reminded of the story of a homecare worker named Evelyn. She had recently arrived in the city and had acquired home care jobs -- helping with bathing, meal preparation, doing laundry, etc.

The home care work was demanding and the pay was low. Some days, because all of the extra work she did, it was less than minimum wage.  Evelyn earned no benefits and had no health insurance. If she got sick, she just worked her way through whatever sickness or cold she had. She had four young children and barely had time to feed them in the morning or put them to bed at night. Her husband frequently was not around.

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
9:32am
Wed May 14, 2014

Gore Talks Climate Change, Supreme Court Rulings In Chicago (VIDEO)

Earth and all of the life it sustains is in imminent danger from global climate change and from the “enforced orthodoxy’’ of its deniers, but there is still time to act and reason for hope, former Vice President Al Gore said at the University of Chicago Monday evening.

In discussing the political problems holding back environmental reforms, he spoke directly to comments made at the same University of Chicago Institute of Politics forum two weeks earlier by Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, who claimed scientists only have 100 years of “real data’’ at which to look when assessing climate change. Even as he argued against a “dumbed down” debate, his calculus suggests scientists can’t use other evidence to study historical changes in the planet that include weather and energy patterns, something with which nearly all experts disagree.

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