ELPC Executive Director Howard Learner is an experienced attorney and the founder of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. He is responsible for ELPC’s overall strategic leadership, policy direction and financial platform. His updates include his analysis of recent developments in clean energy, clean air, clean water, clean transportation and natural resources, as well as notes about ELPC organizational news.
The impact: 3,000 dead fish, closed beaches along Lake Michigan and Indiana Dunes National Park, and safe drinking water at risk. In August, ArcelorMittal violated its permits by spewing dangerous chemicals, including cyanide and ammonia, into the Little Calumet River, which flows into Lake Michigan. The company delayed informing public officials of this toxic chemical spill.
Summer may be over, but eyes still need to be on Lake Erie. Toxic algal blooms had another bad year, covering 620 square miles of the lake at one point with a thick green scum and microcystin toxins. The situation won’t improve until the manure and fertilizer runoff pollution causing the toxic algal blooms is significantly reduced.
This week, the UN is shining a spotlight on climate change at its week-long Climate Action Summit in New York City. While our federal government has taken a step back when it comes to combating climate change, there are many actions that individuals, businesses and local governments can take to enact climate change solutions. Below
On Monday July 29, 2019, ELPC hosted Illinois state Representative Ann Williams, Senator Bill Cunningham, and Senator Melinda Bush for a panel discussion on the recent legislative session in Springfield. This year was particularly productive for the state legislature, and especially on the environment. Members passed bipartisan legislation to protect clean water, support energy efficiency,
Hearing on Vanishing Environmental Reviews and the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program Last Friday, I testified at the U.S. House Committee on Small Business about Wisconsin’s proposed Foxconn development near Lake Michigan and the need for environmental regulation. Thank you Congressman Brad Schneider and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez for holding this hearing. Developments like Foxconn usually receive an environmental impact assessment before they
From L-R: Senator Ed Markey, Professor Don Wuebbles, Senator Tammy Duckworth, ELPC Executive Director Howard Learner, Professor Dana Infante, Professor Ashish Sharma On July 9 I joined ELPC’s Federal Legislative Director Ann Mesnikoff, and three prominent Midwest university scientists – Professors Dana Infante (Michigan State U), Ashish Sharma (Notre Dame and U-Illinois) and Don Wuebbles (U-Illinois)
ELPC and our allies won a major victory last week. The Lake County, Illinois board decided to stop pursuing a massive highway extension that would have been a boondoggle for developers, destroyed sensitive wetlands, and contributed to air pollution. Lake County’s Route 53 has resurfaced several times over the years, and each time local communities
The 2019 Illinois General Assembly spring session ended and there is much good environmental news to report! ELPC had a successful session, advancing important clean energy and environmental protection legislation as ELPC legislative advocates Al Grosboll and David McEllis worked closely with our environmental partners. There were five bills on which ELPC played a leadership
Today, for the first time in 10 years, the U.S. House of Representatives acted to combat climate change by passing H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act. This is an important step. This Act calls on the federal government to honor its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and ensure that the United States is
Earth Day 1970 sounded an alarm that launched the modern environmental movement. We’ve made tremendous progress for healthier air, safer water, and less toxic pollution in our communities. You can drive through Northwest Indiana with the windows rolled down without choking on so much smog, and the Great Lakes are mostly cleaner as industrial sewage