Category Archives: Great Lakes

National Wildlife Refuges expand hunting

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Three national wildlife refuges in the Great Lakes region will expand hunting opportunities and two more will open to hunting for the first time, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge and Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois and thePatoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area in Indiana will expand migratory bird, upland game and big game hunting.

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Great Lakes, Wildlife


Three Tips on the Road to a Great Governor’s Award Application

Over on the ISTC Blog, John Mulrow gives organizations tips for writing a successful Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards application. The deadline to apply is May 22, 2014.


Refinery seeking waste removal

Read the full story in the Great Falls Tribune.

Calumet Montana Refining is asking the state Department of Environmental Quality for permission to ship 14,200 cubic yards of lead- and petroleum-contaminated soil at its Great Falls oil refinery to an Indiana landfill permitted to handle hazardous waste.

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Great Lakes


U.S. EPA Response to the BP Whiting Oil Spill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is responding to the spill of an unknown volume of oil into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana. BP notified the federal government’s National Response Center on March 24, 2014 at 5:25 p.m. that a spill had occurred.

EPA has issued a Notice of Federal Interest, which formally advises BP of the federal government’s involvement in the spill and directs the company to conduct a cleanup. Under EPA oversight, BP has deployed more than 2,000 feet of boom to contain the oil. In addition, the company has used vacuum trucks to remove about 5,200 gallons of an oil/water mixture from the spill location. BP crews also are combing a nearby company-owned beach for oil globs and conducting air monitoring to ensure the safety of the public. The U.S. Coast Guard has flown over the area and has not observed any visible sheen beyond the boomed area.

EPA will continue to work with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and BP to take measures to contain and clean up the oil. At this point there is no estimate of cleanup cost or duration.

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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Great Lakes, Pollution, Water


Illinois Lawmakers Prepare for Black Bears, Wolves, and Mountain Lions to Make Their Return to the Prairie State

Read the full post from the NRDC.

Illinois is seeing an amazing wildlife resurgence, with wolves, black bears, and mountains lions returning to our state after a decades-long absence. The trouble is, because these predators have been gone for so long, we don’t have rules in place to protect them.

Today, the Illinois Senate Agriculture Committee took an important step towards correcting that problem by voting 6-0* in favor of a bill to add wolves, black bears, and mountain lions to the Illinois Wildlife Code. NRDC has been working with the Department of Natural Resources, Senator Linda Holmes, and other conservation groups to pass this bill in order to protect native predators as they return to their historic habitat.

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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Environmental law, Illinois, Wildlife


Nominations now being accepted for Indiana Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence

The Indiana Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize exemplary projects across Indiana. Projects must demonstrate significant and measurable results,  be innovative, comprehensive and documented. For more information, the nomination cover page form, and guidance on how to apply, visit the IDEM Web site at .

Who Can Apply?

The awards are open to all Indiana facilities, state and local units of government, individuals, and technical assistance organizations that operate or support environmental protection efforts of outstanding quality. Eligible technical assistance organizations include, but are not limited to,  public entities; trade associations; individuals; and, public interest, community, educational, and labor groups.

Nominated projects/facilities must be:

  • located in Indiana;
  • focused on significant environmental protection activity;
  • able to provide at least a year of quantifiable results;
  • innovative;
  • voluntary;
  • in compliance with environmental health and safety laws; and
  • willing to share information with others via state publications or Web sites.

The deadline for nominations is April 18, 2014.

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Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Awards & contests, Great Lakes


ISTC now accepting applications for the 2014 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2014 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards.

This award, begun in 1987, is the nation’s oldest continuing pollution prevention program and annually honors organizations and businesses that have made a commitment to the environment through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.

The application deadline is close of business on May 22, 2014.


Michigan use of state’s landfills continues decline; Canadian imports up

Read the full post at Great Lakes Echo.

Despite a slight increase in Michigan’s population, 2013 witnessed a decline of 0.5 percent in solid waste generated in the state, continuing a 10-year  trend, according to a report by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

And the state still has almost three decades’ worth of landfill capacity, the report said.

Waste imported from other states and Canada increased by more than 8 percent.

Canada is the largest source of imported trash, accounting for about 17 percent of the total waste landfilled in Michigan last year, according to the report.

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Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Garbage, Great Lakes, Publications


New ISTC technical report on the feasibility of saline aquaculture in Illinois

TR- 051 On the Feasibility of Establishing a Saline Aquaculture Industry in Illinois / Small, Brian; Rajagopalan, Nandakishore; Quagrainie, Kwamena. — Champaign, IL : Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, 2014.

Abstract: A considerable quantity of saline water is available in Illinois to support the needs of a marine aquaculture industry. The sources vary from isolated, deep rock aquifers to industrial effluents. In the present study, synthetic saline water prepared using known concentrations of salts, without trace minerals, in the Ironton-Galesville aquifer formation was used to rear striped bass, a euryhaline species. Growth indices were measured over a 24-week period and compared to striped bass reared in saline water prepared using a commercial marine salt mixture. The results indicate no differences in any growth parameter and no effect on body composition. The only observed differences were in fish behavior and water quality. Fish appeared more excitable in the aquifer treatment; however, stress hormone levels were not affected. Ammonia concentrations in the aquifer treatment system were higher throughout the study. From these results, one can conclude that water displaced from the Ironton-Galesville formation as a result of CO2 sequestration may be suitable for growth of saline aquaculture species assuming trace mineral and contaminant levels are found to be acceptable. It is recommended that a complete analysis (trace minerals and contaminants) of the Ironton-Galesville formation water be completed prior to using this water for food-fish production, because those were not included in the synthetic saline water prepared to mimic the Ironton-Galesville ground water. Undesirable concentrations of trace minerals or contaminates would require some degree of pretreatment prior to use for aquaculture.

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Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Aquaculture, Illinois, Publications


Study supports factory farm regulation

Read the full story in the Daily Illini.

Jim Francis owns a cow and calf farm in Jo Daviess County. It’s been in his family for more than 60 years, and he intends on passing the farm on to his son when he retires.

He considers himself one of many farmers who practice “responsible husbandry that preserves our precious natural resources for the generations that follow.” One of the most important aspects of this to him is responsibly storing and applying waste to fields and not letting it get into Illinois waterways.

That’s why in 2008, he and many other community members grew concerned over their possible new neighbor — a massive industrial dairy farm called Tradition Dairy, which would house about 14,000 cows…

A study published by Environment Illinois on Feb. 20 advocates for tightening regulations for these facilities because, according to the Illinois EPA, more than 672 miles of streams and 25,000 acres of lakes in Illinois have been polluted by animal waste from factory farms through spills, run-offs and other environmental hazards.


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