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Flash 1/2013 #1.
This message available online at illinois.sierraclub.org/w&w/WWNews/arc/2013/0101.html
Victories at the
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
after the ceremony to savor their
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
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
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
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
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,
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Here are talking points you can
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail or call her at
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
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
- Find actions taking place near
you or submit your own.
- Tell us your climate story.
- Download resources, fact sheets,
Join us in 100 Days of Action and
help secure President Obamaís climate legacy at sierraclub.org/climatelegacy
Vote for W&W
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
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
Building a More
Seminar Series at McHenry Community
Attend MCC's Tuesday seminar series
- 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
McHenry County College
8900 U.S. Hwy. 14
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
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
- "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 350.org 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,
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
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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.
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The Activist Network
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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
http://connect.sierraclub.org . Then join our
W&W Team at http://connect.sierraclub.org/Team/Woods_And_Wetlands_Group
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