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Stories previously featured on the Region 5 News & Events page.

April 8, 2014

brine on the Mahoning River

Former Owner of Ohio Company Pleads Guilty to Discharging Brine To Mahoning River Tributary

Benedict Lupo, former owner of Hardrock Excavating LLC, Youngstown, Ohio, pleaded guilty to discharging brine into a tributary of the Mahoning River. Lupo directed employee Mark A. Goff to empty waste liquid into a stormwater drain. Goff was also charged with making an unpermitted discharge. “Actions like these threaten to turn America’s waterways into chemical dumping grounds,” said Randall Ashe, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Ohio. More information>>

March 27, 2014

EPA personnel respond to a spill at the BP Whiting refinery on Lake Michigan.

U.S. EPA Responds to BP Whiting oil spill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded to a March 24 oil spill into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana. EPA continues to work with the U.S. Coast Guard to oversee cleanup operations. More information>>

March 20, 2014

Health coalition members getting grant

EPA grant helps Asian Health Coalition reduce asthma from air pollution

EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman joined the Asian Health Coalition at a community event in Chicago’s Chinatown to showcase work being accomplished with EPA’s Environmental Justice grant. The Asian Health Coalition, a nonprofit organization, is using the grant to educate community members about environmental triggers of asthma, with an emphasis on secondhand smoke. “People with asthma, especially children, will literally breathe easier because of the work being done with this grant,” Hedman said. More information>>

Feb. 28, 2014

Green Bay Mayor Schmitt and Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman at Bay Beach Park Feb. 27 2014

Green Bay receives Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grant

EPA has awarded $500,000 to the City of Green Bay, Wisc. to install permeable pavement and bio-filter gardens in the Bay Beach Park. This will prevent untreated storm water runoff from contaminating Lake Michigan. Green Bay is one of 16 cities to receive funding in the initial round of EPA’s new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grant program. These grants will be used to fund up to 50 percent of the cost of green infrastructure projects on public property. More information>>

Feb. 27, 2014

invasive species of the Great Lakes include Sea Lamprey and Phragmites

Grants award over $5 million to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes region

EPA has awarded 11 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants totaling more than $5 million to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes region. “These grants will be used to target aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in the Great Lakes basin,” said Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. The grants will also fund projects to prevent new invaders from becoming established. Recipients include states, local governments, tribes, universities and nonprofit organizations. More information>>

Feb. 20, 2014

Oneida County Men Charged with Illegal Possession of Bald Eagles

Father and son farmers poisoned bald eagles and other wildlife

Potato farmer Alwin Sowinski and his son Paul Sowinski, Sugar Camp, Wisconsin, pled guilty to illegal possession of American Bald Eagles in connection with the poisoning deaths of more than 70 wild animals, including two bald eagles. Alvin Sowinski used bait piles poisoned with the highly toxic pesticide carbofuran to kill predators. “The defendants had in their possession a bald eagle which was killed by a pesticide that one of the defendants admits using improperly,” said Randall Ashe, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Wisconsin. More information>>

Dec. 23, 2013

Asbestos NESHAP Violations During Piqua Medical Center Demolition

Contractor sentenced to prison for improper asbestos handling

Lamont P. Pryor of Lima, Ohio, was sentenced to 13 months in prison for violating the Clean Air Act in connection with his company’s handling of asbestos during the demolition of the former Piqua, Ohio, Medical Center in 2008. “The defendant directed his employees to remove scrap metal from the hospital without regard to the asbestos. His actions threatened not only the environment but the safety of his untrained workers and the general public,” said Randall Ashe, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Ohio. More information>>

Nov. 8, 2013

Loewenthal cleanup in Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago

EPA Completes Cleanup of Former Lead Smelter Site in Pilsen

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced that EPA has finished cleaning up Loewenthal Metals, a former lead smelter site in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. In response to community concerns, EPA removed high concentrations of lead in the soil to ensure that the property is safe for residential use in the future. “I’m proud of EPA’s work, partnering with city and state officials, to clean up the former Loewenthal Metals site,” said McCarthy. Last June, EPA began the removal of 4,800 tons of contaminated soil and debris from the site. The contaminated soil was replaced with clean soil. More information>>

Nov. 8, 2013

Cleanup complete in Deer Lake AOC

EPA and City of Ishpeming Complete Work in Deer Lake Area of Concern

EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman joined Mayor Mike Tall in Ishpeming, Michigan, to announce the completion of an $8 million project funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to prevent mercury contamination from reaching the Deer Lake “Area of Concern” on Lake Superior. “This Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project has stopped the flow of mercury-contaminated water into Deer Lake and the southern Lake Superior watershed,” said Hedman. More information>>

Sept. 24, 2013

Kayaks on the shore at Lake Erie Bluffs

Great Lakes shoreline opens to public at Lake Erie Bluffs

Lake Metroparks officially opened the parkland to visitors Sept. 16, adding more than 1.6 miles of shoreline for hiking, camping and outdoor recreation. By the end of 2013, Lake Erie Bluffs will house some 600 acres total of rare, coastal public open space. The project was funded in part by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. More information>>

Aug. 29, 2013

Pictured left to right: Sue Ehinger (Parkview Health), RA Susan Hedman, Deb Lulling, Jan Moore and Connie Kerrigan (all with Parkview Health.)

EPA Recognizes Parkview Health System's Asthma Education and Management Program

Regional Administrator Susan Hedman recognized Parkview Health’s outstanding asthma management program at an Aug. 27 event in Fort Wayne, Indiana. EPA named Parkview Health as one of three winners of its 2013 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management. More information>>

July 15, 2013

Up To $9.5 Million Available From EPA for 2013 Great Lakes Restoration Projects

Up To $9.5 Million Available From EPA for 2013 Great Lakes Restoration Projects

EPA has issued a "request for applications" soliciting proposals from states, municipalities, tribes, universities and nonprofit organizations for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to fund new projects to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Up to $9.5 million will be available during the current funding cycle. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects in the Great Lakes basin. Applications are due August 14, 2013. More information>>

June 12, 2013

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman announces Brownfields grants as Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt looks on.

EPA Awards $600,000 of Brownfield Grants to Green Bay

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joined Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt at the former Tillman Nursery site to announce the award of $600,000 of brownfield grants. "These EPA brownfield grants will be used by the City of Green Bay to assess and clean up contaminated properties," said Hedman. "The city will use these grants to revitalize blighted areas, stimulate economic development, and create jobs." More information>>

June 5, 2013

Photo of the Mahtomedi High School EcoClub.

Mahtomedi Student Project Wins President's Environmental Youth Award

EPA has presented the regional 2012 President's Environmental Youth Award to members of the Mahtomedi, Minn., High School Eco Club. The club raised $100,000 to build a 10-kilowatt wind turbine to power the school's stadium lights, scoreboard and concession stand. "This award recognizes the hard work and creativity of the Mahtomedi High School students who developed this renewable energy project," said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. "The wind turbine will save energy, improve the environment and generate revenue for the school." More information>>

May 14, 2013

Photo of the Toledo skyline

Federal Agencies Expand Urban Waterway Revitalization Efforts in Western Lake Erie Basin

EPA, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, announced that the Western Lake Erie Basin is one of 11 new locations selected for revitalization efforts by the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. "Restoring waterways in the Toledo area will improve public health, provide recreational opportunities and boost the local economy," said Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator. More information>>

April 22, 2013

Region 5 Administrator, Susan Hedman and IIT Students

IIT wins EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge

EPA announced that the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, won first prize among small institutions in the Agency's first Campus RainWorks Challenge. "EPA's Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages the use of green infrastructure to manage stormwater -- to improve water quality and to prevent the type of flooding caused by the heavy rains that hit Illinois last week," said Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator. "The concept and technical quality of the IIT team's design is truly impressive." More information>>

March 14, 2013

EPA's response to the Enbridge Oil Spill.

EPA Orders Enbridge to Perform Additional Dredging to Remove Oil from Kalamazoo River

EPA has issued an administrative order that requires Enbridge to do additional dredging in Michigan's Kalamazoo River to clean up oil from the company's July 2010 pipeline spill. EPA's order requires dredging in sections of the river above Ceresco Dam, upstream of Battle Creek, and in the Morrow Lake Delta. EPA has repeatedly documented the presence of recoverable submerged oil in the sections of the river identified in the order and has determined that submerged oil in these areas can be recovered by dredging. More information>>

February 5, 2013

This photo shows the baghouse at the H. Kramer plant. The baghouse controls particulate matter, which can contain lead dust.

Chicago company H. Kramer to spend $3 million to reduce air pollution

EPA and the State of Illinois have signed a consent decree with H. Kramer and Co. to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act and state air pollution violations at the firm's copper smelting foundry in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. Under the terms of the settlement, H. Kramer will spend $3 million on new state-of-the-art pollution controls for the foundry, pay a $35,000 penalty and provide $40,000 to retrofit diesel school buses operating in the neighborhood and surrounding areas with controls to reduce air emissions. More information>>

October 18, 2012

Images of Chicago from the 1970's including the field museum, the lakefront and traffic

"Documerica" Environmental Photo Exhibit in Chicago from Oct. 18 - Nov. 5

EPA in cooperation with the National Archives, presents “Documerica,” a traveling photography exhibit that contrasts past and present environmental conditions. Launched in 1971, Documerica became the nation’s first serious pictorial examination of the environment, collecting more than 15,000 images documenting environmental and human conditions when EPA was first created. The exhibit is in Chicago at The Green Exchange, 2545 W. Diversey and is open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information>>

October 3, 2012

When agitated by boat motors, silver carp will jump out of the water. Depending on the size of the fish, this can pose a hazard to recreational boaters.

EPA Awards 21 Grants to Combat Invasive Species in the Great Lakes Basin

EPA announced 21 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants totaling nearly $8 million for projects to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes basin. "These EPA grants will prevent the spread of invasive species, increase the accuracy of early detection techniques, and control non-native flora and fauna that have invaded the Great Lakes basin," said Susan Hedman, Great Lakes National Program Manager / Region 5 Administrator. "These projects will improve the environmental health and economic vitality of the world's largest freshwater system." More information>>

September 20, 2012

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joins Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to announce $1.3 million in brownfields grants

$1.3 Million for Brownfield Cleanups and Job Training in Milwaukee

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to announce brownfield grants totaling $1.3 million to redevelop contaminated properties, create employment opportunities and provide job training. "These EPA grants are an investment in Milwaukee's future," said Hedman. "They will be used to make the environment healthier and the economy stronger."
More information>>

August 29, 2012

Regional Administrator Susan Hedman announce GLRI grants in Racine's Samuel Myers Park.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants to Make Beaches Safer in Michigan and Wisconsin

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman announced seven Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants, totaling more than $2.6 million, to improve water quality at Great Lakes beaches in Michigan and Wisconsin. "These grants will improve water quality, allowing people to enjoy more days at Great Lakes beaches," said Hedman. "The projects will make beaches safer, by eliminating harmful bacteria and other sources of contamination." More information>>

August 22, 2012

Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joins Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp and Mayor Paul Soglin to announce EPA brownfields grants

$800,000 in Grants to Clean Up Madison, Wis., Brownfields

Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joined Mayor Paul Soglin to announce EPA brownfields grants totaling $800,000 to clean up contaminated properties in Madison, Wis. "EPA brownfield grants help to revitalize neighborhoods and create jobs," said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. "Cleaning up contaminated brownfield sites protects public health and fuels economic development." More information>>

August 15, 2012

Dredging work is underway to remove contaminated sediment from the Sheboygan River.

Final Projects to Remove Sheboygan River from Great Lakes Cleanup List

EPA and Sheboygan area officials joined forces to kick off the final work needed to remove the Sheboygan River Area of Concern from a list of toxic hot spots. "By the end of the year, we will complete all of the work needed to 'delist' the Sheboygan River AOC," said Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager. EPA has targeted up to $57 million for work in the river and the state of Wisconsin, the city of Sheboygan and Sheboygan County are contributing $5 million to this final phase of the clean up. More about the Sheboygan River AOC>>

June 21, 2012

EPA On-Scene Coordinator Ralph Dollhopf announces the opening of the Kalamazoo River.

Kalamazoo River and Morrow Lake to Open Following July 2010 Enbridge Oil Spill

Local, state and federal agencies responding to the Enbridge oil spill announced that an additional 34 miles of the Kalamazoo River and the entire 2 miles of Morrow Lake are now open for recreational use. "The long wait to open most of the oil-damaged Kalamazoo River is now over — just in time for summer," said Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator. "EPA will remain in the Marshall area until the cleanup is completed." More about the Enbridge oil spill>>

June 21, 2012

EPA Regional Administrator Hedman announces $6 million grant to Ishpeming.

$6 Million to Ishpeming to Stop Mercury Contamination, Remove Deer Lake from Great Lakes Cleanup List

A $6 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to Ishpeming, Mich., will eliminate mercury contamination in the Deer Lake "Area of Concern" on Lake Superior. "This grant will allow the City of Ishpeming to stop the flow of mercury-contaminated water into Deer Lake and the Lake Superior watershed," said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. "When this project is completed in 2013, the Area of Concern will be ready to be designated as an area of recovery." More information>>

June 11, 2012

Wildflowers at the newly restored Roxana Marsh

Great Lakes Initiative Cleanup Helps Restore Grand Calumet River

The recent completion of a $52 million project to rid Roxana Marsh of contaminated sediment will speed the recovery of Indiana's Grand Calumet River, marking a step forward for one of the Great Lakes' most complex Area of Concern cleanups. "The work we're talking about today will help give the Grand Cal a fighting chance to be grand again. But we can't stop here. We're looking for new partners to match funds to accelerate cleanups in other Areas of Concern around the Great Lakes," said Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the EPA Administrator. More information>>

June 6, 2012

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joins St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Port President Louis Jambois to announce $1.8 million in grants

EPA Announces $1.8 million to Clean Up Contaminated Sites in St. Paul, Minn.; State to Receive a Total of $2.65 million

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joined St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Port President Louis Jambois to announce $1.8 million in grants to redevelop contaminated properties, create jobs and protect public health. "EPA's brownfield grants will help clean up contaminated sites in St. Paul so that they can be used again," said Hedman. "The grants will help to revitalize neighborhoods and help businesses create jobs." More information>>

June 5, 2012

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman speaks at the event marking the completion of the South Minneapolis site cleanup.

EPA Completes Cleanup of Over 600 South Minneapolis Homes Ahead of Schedule

EPA has finished the cleanup of contaminated soil in a South Minneapolis neighborhood a full year ahead of schedule. "EPA is pleased that the people of South Minneapolis can now enjoy their yards safely and without fear of their children being exposed to arsenic," said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. EPA used $20 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, along with other funds, to clean up more than 600 properties.More information>>

May 29, 2012

The people in the photo, from left to right, are Bhaskara Rudraraju, EPA branch chief Jerri Anne Garl, Sachin Rudraraju (winner) and Randy Wright, Principal, Olentangy Liberty High School.

EPA Recognizes Ohio Student's Environmental Project

EPA recently recognized Powell, Ohio, student Sachin Rudraraju with the President's Environmental Youth Award for his extraordinary efforts to divert thousands of pounds of electronic waste from landfills. Sachin founded the Community Recycling Campaign to raise awareness about the impacts of electronic waste, provide alternatives to costly computer recycling programs and offer a service to make recycling easier. CRC volunteers refurbish salvageable computers and electronics and donate them to local charities, keeping electronic waste out of landfills. More information>>

May 23, 2012

BP's Whiting Indiana refinery

BP agrees to add more than $400 million in pollution controls at Whiting, Ind., refinery and pay $8 million Clean Air Act penalty

BP North America Inc. has agreed to pay an $8 million penalty and invest more than $400 million to install state-of-the-art pollution controls and cut emissions from its petroleum refinery in Whiting, Ind. When fully implemented, the agreement is expected to reduce harmful air pollution that can cause respiratory problems such as asthma and are significant contributors to acid rain, smog and haze, by more than 4,000 tons per year. More information>>

April 19, 2012

Photo of Indiana Dunes State Park courtesy of Flickr user Pepplerchristine.

Up To $20 Million Available From EPA for 2012 Great Lakes Restoration Projects

EPA is requesting applications from states, municipalities, tribes, universities and nonprofit organizations for new projects to restore and protect the Great Lakes. EPA will distribute approximately $20 million through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant program during Fiscal Year 2012. "These grants will support critical work to restore the Great Lakes, which provide drinking water to 30 million Americans and support a multi-billion dollar economy," said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. More information>>

April 18, 2012

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman joins Calhoun County Jim Rutherford and other local officials in celebrating the reopening of a portion of the Kalamazoo River.

First segment of Kalamazoo River reopens after Enbridge oil spill

At a April 17, 2012, community meeting, Calhoun County Health Officer Jim Rutherford announced the reopening of an approximately 3-mile segment of the Kalamazoo river. The county had banned public access to 39 miles of the river system following the July 2010 Enbridge oil spill. Other segments may reopen this year depending on the results of a spring reassessment of the effectiveness of cleanup. More information>>

April 5, 2012

In an IPM assessment of Mooresville high school, Marc Lame of Indiana University points out that metal shelving is preferable for food storage in kitchens and that cardboard boxes should be unpacked and discarded as soon as possible after delivery.

EPA awards $250,000 for pest management pilot in Ohio and Indiana schools

EPA has provided a $250,000 grant to Improving Kids' Environment Exit EPA Disclaimer, an Indianapolis nonprofit, for an "integrated pest management" pilot in 10 schools in Indiana and Ohio. IKE's goal is a 70 to 90 percent reduction in the use of pesticides by understanding pest biology and behavior, monitoring pest presence, reducing sources of food, water and shelter, and using of lower toxicity pesticides as needed. More about integrated pest management>>

March 7, 2012

Cleveland-area children presented Regional Administrator Hedman with a large thank you card.

Ohioans thank EPA for mercury pollution protections

In February, Regional Administrator Susan Hedman was presented with a large thank-you card signed by northeast Ohioans, praising the agency for its efforts to protect the health of Ohio families. Hedman was at a Cleveland children's hospital to speak about the federal Mercury and Air Toxics standards that will limit pollution from coal-fired power plants: "It took over 20 years to put these standards in place. They were long overdue—and, in his State of the Union Address President Obama made it clear that this Administration will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution." More information>>

December 14, 2011

Kayakers enjoy paddling in the Chicago River. (Photo courtesy of TheTwoBoxers.)

Settlement to reduce Chicago River pollution from stormwater runoff

EPA, the Department of Justice, and the State of Illinois have announced a Clean Water Act settlement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to resolve claims that untreated sewer discharges were released into Chicago area waterways during flood and wet weather events. The settlement will safeguard water quality and protect people's health by capturing stormwater and wastewater from the combined sewer system. More information>>

November 23, 2011

The Monmouth College Educational Garden received an EPA environmental education grant in 2010.

EPA awards $219,000 to support Midwest environmental education projects

EPA recently awarded grants totaling more than $219,000 to environmental education projects in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota. Wayne State University received $81,392 for a program that teaches how to reduce exposure to asthma triggers and lead hazards. Environmental Health Watch received $81,432 to help Cleveland residents learn about community agriculture and healthy/green housing. St. Paul Public Schools Independent District 625 and Illinois DNR received grants for outdoor classroom and wildlife habitat projects, respectively. More Information>>

November 15, 2011

EPA officials, GSA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil, and state officials toured Com2 Recycling Solutions in Carol Stream, IL

EPA and GSA Highlight "eCycling" on America Recycles Day

EPA, GSA and state officials highlighted the benefits of electronics recycling at Com2 Recycling Solutions. Com2 currently receives nearly 5 million pounds of leaded glass per month at its Carol Stream, Ill., facility, mainly from older TVs and computer monitors. Roughly 20 percent of the discarded electronics Com2 accepts are refurbished and sold at its store in Lombard. The company employs 88 people and plans to hire more. "Instead of creating pollution, our used electronics can be supporting local jobs through eCycling," said EPA division director Margaret Guerriero. More information>>

October 6, 2011

View of South Manitou Island, over the dunes at Sleeping Bear Point Trail

EPA announces more than $1.1 million to restore northern Lake Michigan and put people back to work

EPA is providing $1.1 million for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects to help restore the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Grand Traverse Band watersheds and put people back to work, using a conservation corps model to hire unemployed workers. The National Park Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs projects were submitted in response to a $6 million challenge that EPA issued in August to encourage federal agencies to sign up unemployed workers to implement restoration projects. More Information>>

October 5, 2011

Grantees at Toledo's Wildwood Preserve Metropark.

Funding to restore Lake Erie and put people back to work

Three Toledo-area Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects will receive nearly $2.4 million. The projects will help restore Lake Erie and put people back to work, using a conservation corps model to hire unemployed workers to improve habitat and clean up shoreline. "The tremendous response to EPA's challenge underscores the large backlog of Great Lakes restoration projects that are ready to be implemented and the strong support that exists for using a conservation corps model to get the job done," said Susan Hedman, EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager, at Toledo's Wildwood Preserve Metropark. More information>>

September 22, 2011

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speak near the Chicago River.

Upgraded water quality standards for Chicago waterways

Administrator Jackson joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week as he announced plans to make the Chicago River the city's next recreational frontier, with a $16 million plan for four new boathouses to provide access for canoers and kayakers. Bike paths and other improvements will also be added along the banks. In May, EPA ordered new water quality standards for the Chicago and Calumet Rivers. EPA announced over $800,000 in grant funds to help clean up the rivers system and spur job creation.
More information about Chicago waterways>>

September 13, 2011

A border collie chases gulls off a Chicago beach.

EPA Grants Help Keep Chicago Beaches Open

Swim bans at Chicago beaches are at a five-year low. Water quality at Chicago's beaches is improving, partly due to EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to the Chicago Park District. Innovative work includes gull-management techniques (including bird-chasing border collies, like in the photo) and efforts to educate beachgoers about how to keep the sand and water clean. Other projects allow beach managers to identify and reduce beach contamination so that beaches are safe for recreation more of the season. More information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative>>

September 6, 2011

St. Joseph River, Elkhart, Ind.

Elkhart to Improve Sewer System to Address Clean Water Act Violations

The U.S. Attorney's Office and EPA announced a settlement with the City of Elkhart, IN, to make an estimated $155.6 million worth of improvements to reduce sewer overflows. "Today's settlement requires long-overdue sewer system upgrades that will improve water quality in the St. Joseph and Elkhart Rivers for the residents of Elkhart and the State of Indiana," said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. The improvements will reduce the volume of raw sewage discharges by an estimated 135 million gallons during an average year. More information>>

August 31, 2011

EPA to fund new, cooperative approach to improve Menomonee River water quality.

EPA to Fund a New, Cooperative Approach to Improve Menomonee River Water Quality

EPA has awarded a $100,000 grant for a pilot project to develop a watershed-based stormwater permit for communities in Wisconsin's Menomonee River watershed. "EPA is pleased to support this innovative project," said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. "It will enhance Southeastern Wisconsin's reputation as a water quality leader." The effort's ultimate goal is a partnership linking up to 20 governmental units in the 136-square mile watershed. More information>> Exit EPA Disclaimer

August 30, 2011

Supervisor of Royal Oak Township Indicted for Bribery

Supervisor of Royal Oak Township Indicted for Bribery

The Supervisor of Michigan's Royal Oak Township, William Morgan, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 3 counts of bribery, and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, violate the federal Clean Air Act, and commit bribery. The charges involve alleged criminal conduct in awarding a contract and distributing federal funds intended to remove dilapidated buildings from blighted areas.

More information>>

August 26, 2011

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joined EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman to present a $300,000 job training grant

EPA Awards $300,000 Job Training Grant to St. Paul Port Authority

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joined EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman to present a $300,000 job training grant to the St. Paul Port Authority. "The Port Authority has been a leader in redeveloping underutilized brownfields sites for decades," said Hedman. "This grant will help veterans and dislocated workers gain the marketable skills needed for today's green jobs."

More information>>

August 15, 2011

The Chicago Park District will use grants to groom the city's 24 beaches on a daily basis, build a protective barrier to make swimming areas cleaner at Montrose or Rainbow beach, and to construct a culvert at the 63rd Street Beach. These actions should result in fewer swimming bans and advisories due to contamination.

EPA Announces $2.7 Million for Nine Grants to Protect and Restore Lake Michigan

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman announced $2.7 million in Great Lakes Restoration grants to Illinois organizations. The grants included $1.1 million to the Chicago Park District to protect and improve water quality at city beaches. "These grants are an investment to accelerate Great Lakes restoration, community by community," said Hedman. The nine grants are among 70 totaling nearly $30 million that EPA is awarding in 2011. List of grants>>

August 12, 2011

EPA Senior Policy Advisor Cam Davis gets a look at the Boardman River Dam removal project, partly funded by a GLRI grant.

EPA Announces 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants In Traverse City, Michigan

Sen. Carl Levin joined EPA in announcing $4.9 million in Great Lakes Restoration grants to organizations and agencies working in the Boardman River Watershed and other nearby watersheds in Northern Michigan. "Not only will these funds improve the natural environment, they will also support the regional economy," said Levin. The seven grants are among 70 totaling nearly $30 million that EPA will award in 2011. List of grants>>

August 8, 2011

View from the boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park. (Photo courtesy of Flickr user rayb777.)

EPA Announces First 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Grants with $4.5 Million in Ohio

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur joined EPA in announcing $4.5 million in Great Lakes Restoration grants to organizations, agencies and universities working in Ohio. "A healthy Lake Erie is essential to our economic future. Wetlands restoration projects in the fragile Western Basin mean better drinking water, better fishing and better recreational opportunities," said Kaptur. The 11 grants are the first of 70 totaling nearly $30 million that EPA will award in 2011. List of grants>>

August 4, 2011

Illinois Residents Rally to Support Mercury/Air Toxics Rule

Illinois Residents Rally to Support Mercury/Air Toxics Rule

At a rally on the last day for public comment on the proposed new mercury and toxics standard, Rose Gomez, a community leader from Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, presented comments from hundreds of Illinois residents to EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. "The tremendous public response to this rule makes clear that Americans recognize the urgent need to reduce mercury, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants in the air we breathe," said Hedman. "EPA's new standards will prevent thousands of premature deaths and cases of asthma and other illnesses." More information>>

July 21, 2011

Michigan's White Lake

$2.1 Million Habitat Restoration Project for Michigan's White Lake

EPA recently announced a new restoration effort for the shoreline of White Lake, near Muskegon. The $2.1 million project, part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, will restore fish and wildlife habitat at seven public and private sites along the lakeshore and will ultimately result in the lake being taken off the binational list of U.S.-Canadian "Areas of Concern." White Lake flows into Lake Michigan via the White River. More information>>

July 20, 2011

Dredging begins at Muskegon's Division Street Outfall site

Cleanup works begins at Muskegon's Division Street Outfall site

Dredging began June 28 on the Division Street Outfall site in a bay on the south shore of Muskegon Lake in Muskegon, Michigan. EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality are using Great Lakes Legacy Act funds to remove about 41,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with mercury and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. Pollution has limited recreation in the lake and caused the state to put a fish consumption advisory into effect for the entire Muskegon Lake AOC. The agencies expect to finish the project by the end of this year. More information>>

June 27, 2011

Workers build a riverwalk along Burns Harbor in northwest Indiana

EPA Launches Urban Waters Federal Partnership Pilot in Northwest Indiana

EPA and other federal agencies recently created the Urban Waters Federal Partnership to reconnect urban areas—particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed—with their waterways. A pilot project in Northwest Indiana will develop urban green spaces, reduce flood risks, improve water quality and create a vision for greenway preservation and water trail development. More Information>>

June 23, 2011

Chemical drums dumped at the Markham site

Cleanup Complete at Markham, Illinois, Dump Site

EPA has completed a $400,000 cleanup at a 12-acre uncontrolled dump in Markham, Illinois. In April 2011, EPA began removing and disposing of 2,000 tons of contaminated soil. EPA also uncovered and safely disposed of 110 containers of hazardous material. The State of Illinois began the cleanup in 2010 by disposing of discarded tires, chemical drums, compressed gas cylinders, and numerous containers of solid and hazardous waste. More information>>

June 22, 2011

Green and Healthy Schools Art Challenge

Green and Healthy Schools Art Challenge Winners Announced

Six students have been honored by the EPA's Green and Healthy Schools Art Challenge. Each received a plaque and a Kill-A-WattEZ electricity usage monitor. More than 200 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders drew or painted a picture about making their school green and healthy. "The judges had a tough assignment," said EPA environmental education coordinator Megan Gavin. "The entries all showed creativity and a desire to make a difference in greening their schools."
More Information>>

June 15, 2011

Industry in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood

Chicago's Pilsen Neighborhood Does Not Meet New Air Standard for Lead

EPA proposed approving Illinois' finding that Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood does not meet the new national air standard for lead. In 2008, EPA strengthened the standard and Illinois placed a monitor in Pilsen near H. Kramer, a significant source of lead emissions. EPA and the state have taken recent enforcement actions against H. Kramer. Even at low levels, exposure to lead can impair a child's IQ, learning capabilities and memory.

More Information>>

June 15, 2011

Lake Michigan beach, Empire, Michigan

Great Lakes Week to highlight efforts to solve the lakes' problems

"For the Great Lakes to care for us, we need to care of them," said Cameron Davis, EPA's Great Lakes senior advisor. "Government efforts alone cannot restore the lakes." Representatives of the U.S. and Canadian governments, together with a broad coalition of public and private groups, will meet in Detroit October 11-14 for the first-ever "Great Lakes Week," one of the most wide-ranging Great Lakes summits in history.

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June 6, 2011

Administrator Jackson announces Brownfields grants

EPA Administrator Announces Grants to Clean Up Contaminated Sites and Revitalize Communities

EPA's Brownfields grants are used to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties like deserted gas stations or closed smelters. These investments help leverage redevelopment, promote economic growth and lead to job creation. Brownfields grants also target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods—places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

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May 25, 2011

Students pose before the EPA Research Vessel Lake Guardian

High School students learn about water sampling on Lake Michigan

Students from Chicago's Northside College Prep High School wrapped up a year-long environmental seminar in May with a sampling cruise on Lake Michigan aboard EPA's Great Lakes Research Vessel, the Lake Guardian. EPA scientists demonstrated how water and sediment samples are taken and analyzed to better understand how pollution affects the lakes. More information>>

May 23, 2011

Growing Power urban gardeners

Growing Green-Living Lead Free in the Green Economy

EPA environmental justice grants to Milwaukee non-profit Growing Power will create a green jobs model for the future and provide healthy food to communities that need it most. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced funding for 150 sustainable jobs with Growing Power on the south side to grow healthy food in neighborhood gardens.

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May 11, 2011

Kayakers enjoy paddling on the Chicago River. (Photo courtesy of Flickr user Rocketlass.)

EPA: Upgraded standards needed for Chicago Area Waterway System

"The Clean Water Act requires water quality standards that protect people who use the river," said U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. "A decade of investments in walkways, boat ramps and parks has provided people with access to the water – and now we need to make sure that the water is safe."

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May 6, 2011

EPA investigators Claudia Niess and Estrella Calvo inspect for illegal pesticides imports at the Port of Chicago

EPA works with U.S. Customs to stop illegal imports

Many people are unaware of EPA's work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to make sure imported goods meet environmental standards. Above, EPA investigators Claudia Niess and Estrella Calvo inspect for illegal pesticides imports at the Port of Chicago. EPA also examines suspicious vehicles, engines and equipment containing gas or diesel-powered engines to make sure they meet U.S. Clean Air Act regulations. Last month EPA fined a Wisconsin company for importing engines that don't meet clean air standards.

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May 5, 2011

Principal  Paul Holbrook, school superintendent Dr. Randall Davis and students are pictured expressing their appreciation to the regional administrator for EPA's gift.

EPA thanks elementary school for help during oil spill

Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman dedicated a crimson king maple tree at the Walters Elementary School in Marshall, Michigan. The school served as the headquarters for emergency responders during the early days of the response to last summer's Enbridge oil spill. Principal Paul Holbrook, school superintendent Dr. Randall Davis and students are pictured expressing appreciation for the tree and for EPA's work to clean up the oil spill.

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April 21, 2011

This photo shows the baghouse at the H. Kramer plant. The baghouse controls particulate matter, which can contain lead dust.

EPA finds more air violations at H. Kramer in Chicago's Pilsen Neighborhood

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman said: "This is the second time since March that U.S. EPA has cited H. Kramer for Clean Air Act violations. The Agency expects H. Kramer to take immediate steps to reduce lead emissions. Reducing air pollution in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood is a high priority for U.S. EPA."

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April 20, 2011

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman presents an Energy Star plaque to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

Illinois earns Energy Star certification for state office building

Regional Administrator Susan Hedman congratulated Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the State of Illinois for earning Energy Star certification for the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago. It is the first of the state's buildings to earn the Energy Star. Illinois estimates that the building increased its energy efficiency by nearly 68 percent since 2008, saving approximately $100,000 per year in energy costs.

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April 18, 2011

National Hockey League participates in Rock and Wrap project

Midwest Hockey Teams Rock and Wrap it Up

Julie Schilf of EPA's Chicago office, presented an award to Jack Larson of the Xcel Energy Center in Chicago and Chef Ben Jones of Levy Restaurants. The Chicago Black Hawks were recognized for teaming up with food provider Levy, Rock and Wrap It Up! and the Salvation Army to deliver untouched concession food to those in need. Similar events were held in April to honor the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild for their participation in this project that solves two problems at the same time: feeding the hungry and reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills. More information >> Exit EPA Disclaimer

April 13, 2011

Chicago students recognized for their environmental efforts

Chicago students recognized for their environmental efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented the regional 2010 President's Environmental Youth Award on April 13 to the Eco-Macs, an environmental club at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago. The students were recognized for building a solar-powered biodiesel processor and donating it to a school in Pichon, Haiti.

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April 8, 2011

Storage tank at the site overflowing after a heavy rain

Three Ecological Systems, Inc., employees sentenced in U.S. District Court for Clean Water Act violations in Indiana

Mark R. Snow, 44, and Michael R. Milem, 61, both of Indiana, allowed the discharge of approximately 300,000 gallons of untreated oily wastewater into the City of Indianapolis' sewer system after heavy rainfall. Joseph T. Biggio, 51, of Illinois, a former executive vice president of ESI, falsified monthly wastewater sampling reports.The men were fined between $5,000 and $15,000 each, and Snow and Biggio were ordered to perform community service. ESI, which shut down in October of 2010, accepted and treated industrial waste containing numerous pollutants. EPA's Superfund program is currently conducting an emergency cleanup of the facility. More information>>

March 16, 2011

RA Susan Hedman and representatives of local health advocacy organizations participated in an event on Chicago lakefront to highlight benefits of the new standard.

New mercury and air toxics rule praised by local health advocates

Regional Administrator Susan Hedman highlighted the benefits of the proposed national standards for mercury and other pollution from power plants at a March 16 press event on Chicago's lakefront. She was joined by representatives of local health advocacy organizations: Dr. Victoria Persky, University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health; Katie Lorenz, American Lung Association of Illinois - Chicago Chapter; Becki Clayborn, Illinois Sierra Club; Brian Urbaszewski, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago; Dr. Susan Buchanan, University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health; and Rob Kelter, Environmental Law and Policy Center.

March 15, 2011

Sandoval Zinc site in Sandoval, Ill.

More contaminated sites targeted for cleanup by EPA's Superfund program

They are the most polluted places in America — 1,356 hazardous waste sites on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List. New sites are added to the NPL every year. Adding a site to the NPL makes it eligible for cleanup under Superfund, the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. This year, the EPA added a contaminated aquifer in Ohio to the list and proposed adding two sites in Illinois and Indiana: Milford Aquifer site, Milford, OH; Sandoval Zinc, Sandoval, IL; and Gary Development Landfill, Gary, IN.

Feb. 25, 2011

Great Lakes

Up to $40 million available for Great Lakes restoration projects

On Feb. 25, EPA requested applications for up to $40 million in grants for projects to protect and restore the Great Lakes. The final budget is subject to Congressional appropriation. "The work funded by these grants will help to ensure that Great Lakes water is safe to drink, the fish are safe to eat, and that beaches and waters are safe for swimming and recreation," said EPA Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman.

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