Letter to the Editor: Brewing up a cauldron of trouble for Illinois’ waterways

While Halloween is the time for witches’ brews and frightening concoctions, we shouldn’t fear what is brewing in our rivers and lakes. From toxic chemicals to coal ash to sewage, Illinois’ waterways are turning into a cauldron of bad news. Three years ago Tyson released over 2.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Lower Rock River. What’s more, since 2014 combined sewage overflows have sent 20 billion gallons of contaminated water into Lake Michigan.

The EPA took steps to protect Illinois’ waterways by putting in place the Clean Water Rule, which restores Clean Water Act protections to over 48,000 miles of waterways throughout the state and almost 2 million miles nationwide. Unfortunately, on October 9th a federal court placed a temporary stay on the Clean Water Rule nationwide, again making the drinking water sources for 1,680,948 Illinoisans frighteningly vulnerable to pollution.

Even more frightening is that polluters and their allies are attacking the Clean Water Rule in the Senate as well. It’s critical that Illinoisans who value clean water make their voices heard. This fall, we’ll need Senator Dick Durbin to side with clean water over polluters, so that all of Illinois’ waterways remain protected by the Clean Water Act.

Brittany King
Environment Illinois

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