Natural Resources/The Environment

Local Issues Director: Alix Darrow, The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn

Our chapter of the League follows major issues of interest to our membership; each area is the responsibility of a local issues director.  They track legislation and items of particular timely interest. Our Observer Corps attends meetings to report back to the board and members on key issues.

 

LATEST REPORT: September 19, 2018

 

EARTH DAY EDITION Environment/Natural Resources

“Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates.” Vandana Shiva, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis

global Issues

The wildlands and the bulk of the Earth’s biodiversity protected within them are another world from the one humanity is throwing together pell-mell. What do we receive from them? The stabilization of the global environment they provide and their very existence are gifts to us. We are their stewards, not their owners.  — Edward O. Wilson

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2018 One Earth Film Festival - On March 4, at Elmhurst College, viewed “Happening, A Clean Energy Revolution” by James Redford. Main thoughts from film are that solar and thermal have no emissions; 25-30% of current grids could sustain renewables. U.S. Dept. of Defense is largest user of fossil fuels in the world and they are using microgrids. To be 100% renewable, however, we need STORAGE!

According to their on-line Newsroom, “Dunkin’ Donuts to Eliminate Foam Cups Worldwide in 2020.” As part of its commitment to serve both people and the planet responsibly ... (Dunkin’ Donuts) today announced plans to eliminate all polysterene foam cups in its global supply chain beginning in Spring 2018.

 

U.S.  National ISSUES

E.P.A RECONSIDERING REGULATION AND CURRENT CURBS ON POWER PLANTS

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The EPA is reviewing a clean air regulation on the emission of mercury (a pollutant linked with damage to the brain, to the nervous system and fetal development) with the intent of proposing a replacement rule.The mercury regulation under review chiefly affects pollution from coal-fired power plants.In August, the EPA proposed a new rule designed to replace the Clean Power Plan, another regulation governing Coal-fired plants.The rule restricts coal plants’ emission of carbon dioxide, considered one of the chief causes of global warming.The National League of Women Voters states on its website that “gutting the Clean Power plan is wrong for our country.The new regulation will increase carbon emissions and could add up to 1,400 premature deaths every year.  The weaker standard recklessly exposes millions of Americans to dangerous carbon pollution, which makes climate change worse and helps fuel more severe and destructive extreme weather events that threaten our communities, our families and our way of life.  The new proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan is a weaker, polluter-approved alternative that could result in more carbon pollution being pumped into the air.  The League was instrumental in building public support for the Clean Power Plan. The public overwhelming supported the regulations because it protects not just the environment but our public health.  We will fight back against these regulations as we continue to put polluters before polluters.

REGIONAL ISSUES

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Racine, WI. FOXCONN 7 Million Gallon Daily Water Diversion.

This past summer the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) signed off on new $10 Billion FOXCONN plant and it’s use/extraction/divert of 7 million gallons a day of Lake Michigan Water.  The Wisconsin ILWV Upper Mississippi River Region in conjunction with LWV Wisconsin and LWV Lake Michigan question the proposed use of Lake Michigan water for an industrial development outside the Lake Mich watershed.
A legal challenge to FOXCONN water diversion is set to be heard at a pre-hearing conference Sept 12.
The petitioners contend that the Wisconsin DNR’s approval of Racine’s request for a Great Lakes water diversion for the Foxconn development violates the Great Lakes Compact, an interstate agreement enacted to protect Lake Michigan as an economic and cultural resource. The LWV is one of six organizations appealing the diversion permit issued by the Wisconsin DNR. The Compact strictly requires diversions of Great Lakes water be limited to public, largely residential, uses. Racine’s attempt to divert 7 million gallons per day of Lake Michigan water west of the Great Lakes Basin divide to serve the solely private industrial uses of Foxconn violates this rule.
The League believes that the Great Lakes Compact, signed into law in by President G.W. Bush on October 3, 2008, significantly supports the long standing League positions of an "environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest," and that policies must consider the "environmental, ... and economic impacts of proposed plans and actions

DUPAGE COUNTY ISSUES

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On March 6, College of DuPage hosted viewing of “Wasted.” It showed that in the U.S. one-third or 40% of our food is going to waste at a cost of $1 trillion and 1.3 billion lbs. of food. On a related, positive note, the Illinois Environmental Council reports that their bill on food waste passes out of committee! SB2606, sponsored by Senator John Curran, passed unanimously. This legislation will provide that state agencies have a policy in place to donate leftover food, and possible organizations and pantries where leftover food can be donated.

Local Issues for Glen Ellyn

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·      Art and the Environment.  Chicago Cultural Center.  Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle.  June 1 – Oct. 1, 2018.  Looking for volunteers to deliver Membership Directories to those who were unable to attend the August meeting.

·      Local Recycling Resources:  http://www.dupageco.org/OnlineRecyclingGuide/

·      National Public Course Environmental Steward Award -
The Village Links gained national recognition and was awarded the best environmental public golf course in the nation.  The Village Links was named the first public gold course in the world to become fully certified as a Wildlife Sanctuary by Audubon International.  The Village Links is one of the first courses designed to serve as storm water management facility.  In 2018, Audubon partnered with the Environmental Defense on a new program, Monarchs in the Rough, designed for golf courses to meet the specific needs of migrating monarch butterflies.  The Village Links participates in this new program as part of the DuPage Monarch Project and currently exceeds the targeted goal with an estimated one million stems of milkweed.

·      Idling Reduction –

Concern about the prevalence of idling cars at various school pickup locations and at the GE train station was raised at the GE Newcomers Meeting August 16.  Discussion ensued about generating awareness and action for an “Idling Reduction” campaign to provide education about idling and reduce the cumulative pollution created in one small space as well as noise, emerging and cost savings.  The USA uses more than 6 billion gallons of fuel at the cost of over $20 Billion each year.  Each gallon of fuel burned produces about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide.  IL Idling law currently only governs diesel powered vehicles and not passenger cars.  US Dept. of Energy Clean Cities makes an IdleBox available that provides ideas, materials, posters, and content to educate and encourage reduction in of idling cars.   The GE League may wish to consider conducting such a campaign. 

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-01/documents/webinar.antiidling.pdf

·      NATIVE TREE & SHRUB SALE- PICKUP IN GE

https://gepark.org/recreation/nature/native-tree-shrub-sale/

Add some native trees to your home landscape for $30 or $35 each through the 2018 Glen Ellyn Native Tree & Shrub Sale. Non-residents may also order, as long as they are willing to pick up their plant material on the September 29th pick up date in Glen Ellyn. Native species require less maintenance, are adapted to our regional climate, and supports wildlife. The Park District, The Conservation Foundation, and the Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission are partnering to offer this opportunity. Plants come in a 5-gallon sized container and should be able to fit in most standard vehicles for transporting home.  Order online by Sept 21 for pickup Sept 29

THE GLEN ELLYN ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION/LANDSCAPING. Sustainable landscapes are responsive to the environment, regenerative, and can actively contribute to the development of healthy communities. Sustainable landscapes sequester carbon, clean the air and water, increase energy efficiency, restore habitats, and create value through significant economic, social and, environmental benefits. (see http://www.glenellyn.org/ec/landscaping.html)

Sustain DuPage “Turners.” Mission: Creating a generation of thought leaders who reflect critically and independently regarding current events and sustainability issues. We are an educational, guided reading discussion group who come together to explore sustainability theory. Every year will feature readings selected around a specific theme in order to construct a lattice of understanding around a critical sustainability topic. http://sustaindupage.com/turners

Submitted by Bonnie Gahris


OFFICIAL POSITION OF THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF ILLINOIS:

NATURAL RESOURCES POSITIONS:  The Illinois LWV takes action on the state level in the following areas based on these LWVUS positions: Agriculture Policy; Environmental Protection and Pollution Control; Natural Resources; Public Participation; and Resource Management.