Air pollution in the Midwest comes from many sources. We are both the “corn belt” and a “manufacturing belt,” with massive agricultural and industrial sources of greenhouse gas pollution. We host a concentration of old, dirty coal plants. And Chicago is a national transportation hub where trains, trucks, boats and heavy construction equipment dominate the already dense city center. These sources generate gases, heavy metals and microscopic particles that pose serious health risks, as well as environmental quality and climate impacts. As history has proven time and again, it is possible to better control these harmful pollutants without sacrificing economic development or job creation.
What is ELPC Doing?
ELPC is a solutions-oriented organization that focuses a lot of attention on “saying yes” to clean energy and clean transportation policies that make economic and environmental sense. But we must also “say no” to some of our region’s worse sources of air pollution, which ought to be cleaned up or shut down:
- Old, Dirty Coal Plants – Many Midwest coal plants are over 60 years old and have been grandfathered into standards that ignore Clean Air Act policies designed to protect public health and the environment. Our attorneys are working hard to ensure that Midwest coal plants finally enter the modern world with pollution controls.
- Diesel Pollution from Trucks and Trains – Diesel exhaust is a complex mixture composed of thousands of substances, including more than 40 toxic air pollutants. These microscopic particles can become lodged in the lungs, posing serious health risks. ELPC’s attorneys and advocates are working with local groups to analyze diesel impacts and determine practical solutions.