The Stream
Events, Alerts and News in the W&W Territory

Victories at the Polls Federal, state and local. Read more ...
Clean Up Our Air Midwest Gen air pollution. Read more ...
Climate Legacy Campaign Going after dirty fossil fuels. Read more ...
Vote for W&W Leaders Show your support. Read more ...
Sustainable World Seminars Attend Tuesday seminar series . Read more ...
W&W on Facebook Read more ...
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Victories at the Polls

It's inauguration season, and while the elections might be a distant memory for most of you, we're still using these occasions to celebrate their victories - and ours - on November 6th. Lake County got the jump and swore in our eight new and returning members on December 3. Then our two new members of Congress, Brad Schneider and Tammy Duckworth, were sworn in last week. Wednesday was Inauguration Day for our four-representative and 3-senator delegation. Sierra Club threw a reception party in Springfield after the ceremony to savor their commencement.

As we last told you, we were very busy last summer endorsing worthy candidates, and then getting the word out and helping them win. This year the money we raised through our fun events hired more Sierra Club staffers to work in our endorsed candidate's campaigns, and paid for some great endorsement postcards that stood out among the dozens we all received from the campaigns. Thank you for your contributions!

Our new Political Chair, Barbara Klipp, lead a bigger and better endorsement committee this year than ever. But we still had more worthy candidates than volunteer time to help them. And so in the final days we started trying to predict sure winners, and those races we could make a difference. We called and canvassed. We voted. Then we waited and worried - and hoped!

Thanks to your support of our endorsed environmental candidates with your contributions of time and money - and your vote, all 16 of our locally endorsed candidates were victorious. Including President Obama and VP Biden we scored a total 18-victory bipartisan return! We were all wonderfully stunned! 

We said that the river to a sustainable economic recovery runs through a clean environment, and we're glad to know that voters and our elected representatives agree. As hurricane Sandy still reminds everyone, the consequences of global warming are upon us, and getting worse. Thank you for your commitment to address this, and for your support of candidates who will lead us to using clean energy wisely, and away from the wasteful fossil fuel interests that sought to buy this election. We are stronger now to confront these pressing challenges as opportunities.

Barbara has handed the reins over to Chris Pado, who is leading our local lobbying committee to focus our elected officials on opportunities to improve our environment. If you would like to help, please get in touch with her. See Contact Us.

Clean Up Our Air

Midwest Generation, the owner of Waukegan's old and dirty coal plant, has filed for a variance with the Illinois Pollution Control Board to keep polluting our air for another two years. After failing to enforce the Clean Air Act for years, Illinois has finally required clean-up of these ancient coal-fired power plants, but Illinois' Pollution Control Board seems willing once again to let them continue ignoring the health consequences.

According to the Clean Air Task Force, pollution from this one plant annually inflicts 34 deaths, 54 heart attacks, 570 asthma attacks, 25 hospital admissions, 21 cases of chronic bronchitis, and 35 asthma ER visits. We have twice the national average of asthma hospital admissions. According to a 2010 Environmental Law and Policy Center report, the environmental and public health impacts of the Waukegan coal plant cost the region $86 million each year. NAACP ranks this plant #10 on its list of top environmental justice violators nationwide. Click this picture to see the footprint of these discharges:

We think that our Illinois Senators and Representatives and our Lake County Board should be doing more to protect Lake County from the health impacts of this dinosaur coal plant. If you agree, contact your elected officials and ask them write a letter to the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB). 

Installing the pollution control technologies would create more local jobs, and having it would greatly reduce the plant's discharge of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), a highly toxic air pollutant, along with NOx and mercury. The Sierra Club is opposing this variance request and asking our members to send written comments by Tuesday, February 12th, to:


Use Subject heading: PCB 2013-024

If you write a formal letter, you can use this address:

Bradley P. Halloran Hearing Officer
Illinois Pollution Control Board
100 W. Randolph Street,
Suite 11-500
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Here are talking points you can include:

  • SO2 is one of the most toxic air pollutants regulated by the EPA. It's adverse health effects impact the respiratory and cardiac systems in particular and is a significant contributor to fine particulate matter. These fine particulates penetrate deeply into sensitive parts of the lungs which can cause or worsen respiratory disease, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, and can aggravate existing heart disease, leading to increased hospital admissions and premature death.
  • Children are particularly susceptible to toxic air pollution as their respiratory and immune systems are not fully developed.
  • The Chicago area is ground zero for asthma related hospital admissions with double the national average and Lake County has been in non-compliance with the Clean Air Act Standards for air pollution for a considerable time.
  • This coal plant is a significant contributor to Lake County air pollution and we believe that this is a critical health issue for the citizens of Lake County. Midwest Generation entered into this mutual agreement to control their pollution on this timeline and it is our position that the risk to public health outweighs the economic burden of the required pollution control.
  • Other coal plants around the country and in this state have made the required investment to control their pollution with modern pollution control technologies and issuing this variance puts them at a competitive disadvantage.
  • There is a blatant economic justice issue at play regarding the Waukegan plant. The good citizens of Waukegan deserve to breathe air as clean as the citizens anywhere else in Lake County.
  • The mercury discharged from this coal plant pollutes Lake Michigan, a major source of drinking water for eastern Lake County.

You can look here to find the comments already submitted.

If you would like to be more involved with us to clean up our air, please contact by e-mail or call her at 312-251-1680x115.

The President's Climate Legacy

As President Obama starts his second term, the next four years will be pivotal in the fight to address climate disruption and move America toward clean energy. After a year of record-breaking climate disasters that included raging wildfires, devastating drought, and a hurricane super-storm, now is the time for us to take action on the climate crisis.

President Obama took the first step by inviting the community to a conversation around climate disruption -- now it's up to us to respond and show the president it's time to act.

Take action now and urge the president to take on dirty fossil fuels and prioritize clean energy and efficiency to fight climate change.

100 Days of Action

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, President Obama invited us to a conversation about climate disruption. We plan to do much more than talk. Over the first four months of 2013, the Sierra Club and our allies are launching 100 Days of Action, a campaign to show the Obama administration that addressing climate is a critical issue. From national rallies to local town halls, we will make sure the administration doesnít forget the climate disasters of 2012 and takes the lead to protect our planet for generations to come. Visit to

  1. Find actions taking place near you or submit your own.
  2. Tell us your climate story.
  3. Download resources, fact sheets, and more.

Join us in 100 Days of Action and help secure President Obamaís climate legacy at

Vote for W&W Leaders

Doug Ower (incumbent) is a longtime Sierra Club member and is completing his third term as the Recording Secretary for the W&W ExCom. He is very concerned about the protection of Lake County wetlands and is also a member of the Zion Community Advisory Panel as an environmental representative for the decommissioning of the Zion Nuclear plant. He also enjoys being involved with the Political Committee and lobbying for Sierra Club issues.

John Massman has been active in W&W for the last 19 years and for the last 6 years has served as group treasurer. John is very concerned about the rampant development of northwestern Lake County and specifically the development in and around the Sequoit Creek Watershed. He believes that the groupís ability to protect the environment depends upon involving members locally...think globally, act locally.

Barbara Klipp has served on the Sierra Club Woods and Wetlands Group Ex Com since 2011. She has served as the Chair of the Woods and Wetlands Political Committee since early 2012 and lead a committee which endorsed and unprecedented 16 candidates in the 2012 general election all of whom won election. She also serves on the Lobby and the Conservation Committees of the group. In addition to her volunteer work with the Sierra Club, Ms. Klipp is a Co-founder and Spokesperson for Incinerator-Free Lake County and spearheaded the campaign to remove incineration from the most recent Lake County Solid Waste Plan and encouraged our County Board to redouble their efforts on Waste Diversion. That successful campaign led to the formation of the Lake County 60% Recycling Task Force to study how we could increase the waste diversion rates in Lake County from 38% to 60% by the year 2020 and she served on that task force. She is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Lake County, professional flutist and music instructor. Her goals for the Woods and Wetlands Group include expanded visibility in the area, fundraising for the group, increased interaction with our elected officials, greater number of events and outings, increased membership and more activities which include families and younger people. She is also interested in sponsoring Sierra Club Student Coalition Chapters at the Colleges in Lake County including the College of Lake County.

To vote, just put the names of up to three of these candidates that you support on of a scrap of paper. Both members with a joint membership may vote. Put your ballots in an envelope and write your name(s) and address on only the outside of the envelope, as the return address, not on the inside. Vote by January 25.

Mail the envelope to:

Sierra Club W&W Elections
 P. O. Box 876
Grayslake, IL 60030.





Building a More Sustainable World
Seminar Series at McHenry Community College

Attend MCC's Tuesday seminar series on Sustainability
- the last in the series features our very own IL Chapter Director Jack Darin speaking about fracking!

  • January 22,
  • January 29,
  • February 5
  • February 12

Each seminar starts at 7:00 pm
Luecht Conference Center
Building B
McHenry County College
8900 U.S. Hwy. 14
Crystal Lake,
Campus map
Crystal Lake METRA Station is 3 miles away

The first lecture on Jan. 22 will feature "Towards an Economics of Shared Prosperity in a Finite World," presented by Dr. Jon Erickson. His presentation will point out the direct economic benefits of many of every thing from green building and infrastructure, ecological restoration to conservation easements.

The following are seminar topics scheduled through Feb. 12:

  • "Towards an Economics of Shared Prosperity in a Finite World" Jan 22 - 7pm (see above)
  • "Engaging In Transformation" January 29, 7 p.m. featuring Nancy Tuchman, Director of the Institute of Urban Environmental Sustainability (IUES) at Loyola University Chicago
  • "Building Bridges With Food" February 5, 7 p.m. featuring Linda Mallers of FarmLogix
  • "Fracking 101: What, Where, and WHY?" February 12, 7 p.m. featuring Jack Darin, executive director, Illinois Sierra Club

At each presentation, a national Bioneers Conference DVD will also be featured that evening. These prominent environmental leaders will be speaking about a topic related to the talk that evening. The speakers via DVD will include Bill McKibben of on Jan. 29; Nikki Henderson of People's Grocery on Feb. 5; and Sandra Steingraber, author of "Living Downstream", on Feb. 12.

For more information, click this link to the conference or contact either Pat Dieckhoff at (815) 479-7817 or Kristine Emrich at (815) 479-7570 or email

Join the Discussion

Find us on Facebook

Woods and Wetlands has its very own Facebook page! LIKE the page and visit it frequently to find out about Woods and Wetlands outings, meetings, activities, and other great ways to get involved! You'll also find the latest environmental headlines, photo albums of the best of Lake County's open spaces, and - of course - your Sierra Club friends! Click on the link and LIKE Woods and Wetlands.   (short for Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands Facebook)

Follow us on Twitter

Saving NE IL 140 characters at a time. Search for:

Sierraclubnoil   (short for Sierra Club Northeast Illinois)

The Activist Network

Every Sierra Club member is invited to find local friends in the Club's on-line network. Then use it to find out about conservation teams and projects already in swing, and to collaborate with other members to address local environmental issues with the Club. Get started by finding or creating your profile at . Then join our W&W Team at

The W&W ISSUES Discussion List

Trade e-mail with other local members by subscribing to our ISSUES list. You can control, suspend or discontinue your subscription anytime.

To sign up, address an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG and then include the following command in the body of the message :
SUBSCRIBE IL-WWG-ISSUES firstname lastname
(substituting your name) and send the message.

You can also visit the on-line archives of this list, which allows you to join, at ISSUES . If asked for a password, make one up (the same one is good for all Club lists) and follow the links.

Then watch for a confirmation e-mail and reply according to the instructions. Once you've subscribed, send your concerns to the list at

Click here for back issues of THE STREAM and the W&W News.

Help unite Woods & Wetlands members eager to have public meetings. See Help W&W! to join our membership committee.