ELPC works in Illinois to advance wind and solar energy, improve energy efficiency policies, clean up old and dirty coal plants, reduce diesel pollution, expand adoption of electric vehicles, and preserve and protect Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
Additionally, many of ELPC’s region-wide efforts are centered in Chicago – the spoke-and-wheel Midwest High-Speed Rail Network radiates out from Chicago to small and large cities within a 400-mile radius; the MISO energy transmission grid touches all of ELPC’s states, with many transmission lines running to Chicago’s dense urban population; and the Chicagoland area also hosts important waterway connections between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
ELPC’s staff works out of our LEED Platinum headquarters in Chicago and makes a big difference throughout Illinois and the Midwest. ELPC works with a diverse group of allies in Illinois, including environmental, public health and community organizations, as well as universities, unions, trade associations, chambers of commerce and private industry.
- Clean Energy – ELPC has led the charge to transition Illinois from having little renewable energy installed and virtually no utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs to a position of national policy leadership. Years of work led to significant policy breakthroughs when Illinois enacted some of the nation’s leading Renewable Energy Standards (RES), Energy Efficiency Performance Standards, and distributed energy standards.
- Clean Air – ELPC’s “clean up or shut down” strategic legal advocacy over a decade with our grassroots community and public health partners resulted in the Fisk and Crawford coal plants shutting down in August 2012. These were the largest, most polluting coal plants operating in city neighborhoods. ELPC’s litigation pressure before the Illinois Pollution Control Board and our legislative lobbying and leadership on the groundbreaking Chicago Clean Power Coalition helped result in a coal-free Chicago.
- Clean Water – For years, Chicago was one of the few major cities in which wastewater was not disinfected prior to discharge into the river. ELPC’s and our colleagues’ persistent and effective advocacy over six years succeeded in 2011. The U.S. EPA and the Illinois Pollution Control Board directed the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to install modern pollution control equipment to disinfect wastewater, and the District is complying.
- Clean Transportation – ELPC provided legal representation and guidance to grassroots groups opposed to the “Prairie Parkway” highway proposal, which was successfully squashed in 2012. We advocated smarter “fix it first” alternatives that achieved transportation and job creation goals without disrupting communities and harming natural resources.
- Wild & Natural Places – Bell Smith Springs is a beautiful part of the Shawnee National Forest, where streams have carved out interesting rock formations and natural springs form large pools of pristine water. ELPC protected this special place in Illinois from unnecessary logging that would have caused significant soil erosion and damaged the springs. Our emergency injunction halted the logging until a thorough environmental analysis could be completed.
For other victories, visit our impacts page.
ELPC’s Illinois Office
35 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60601
ELPC’s Illinois Staff
Most of ELPC’s staff is housed at our Chicago headquarters. This includes our management team, communications experts, fundraising staff and administrative assistants in addition to many of our attorneys, policy advocates and business specialists. Here are some key staff you should know: