November 17, 2005

JCAR Strikes at Clean Water Again

Uncontrolled nutrient pollution causes runaway growth of algae that can make drinking water taste bad, promote growth of mosquitoes, and suck oxygen out of the water that fish need to breathe.

Last summer developers buried an Illinois EPA proposal to protect clean water in fast-growing areas by getting a relatively obscure legislative body - the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules - to quash a common-sense proposal that was the result of years of meetings, hard work, and compromise by all parties. IEPA is still working to respond to that sneak attack, and now their other major clean water initiative has been at least temporarily halted by pressure behind closed doors.

At issue is a proposal by the Blagojevich administration to protect drinking water and wildlife from pollution by requiring new or expanded wastewater plants to use widely available technology to remove phosphorus as part of treating sewage. Since these controls aren't required, most of our major rivers are overloaded with this nutrient that is natural in small quantities, but quickly becomes a threat to drinking water and aquatic life when dumped unchecked in millions of gallons of wastewater per day. Many plants are including the technology voluntarily now.

Increasingly JCAR is being used as a tool by polluters to block regulations using arguments that either didn't work or weren't made in the rulemaking process. If your legislator sits on JCAR,
let them know you support clean water and you hope they do too.


Anonymous said...

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups are turning me against you completely with the destruction of so called "non-native" trees. Perfectly good trees, beautiful to me. I am a long time passionate nature lover who loves the woods LIKE IT IS NOW NOT LIKE IT WAS IN 1860 or any other arbitrary date. I will NOT vote for anyone who supports spending tax dollars tearing out trees from wooded areas. You are totally alienating people like me and I truly supported you in the past. You need to check out the "non-native = evil" idea some are pushing. This is unproven bs. The fact is this is just a preference some have and a way to get money. Gosh there is no money in "leaving something alone" is there? So called native plants are just as good at "invading" check out the some of the biggest ag pests, they are so called "native".

native plants said...

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