CHICAGO (CBS) — Environmental activists in Illinois have released new research on waterway pollution, as they lobby Congress to restore protections the Clean Water Act no longer provides.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Environment Illinois has issued a report it calls “Wasting Our Waterways.”
Campaign director Lisa Nikodem said the report revealed there’s a lot of work to be done to prevent pollution of waterways that feed into the lake, based on figures from 2012, the most recent available data.
“Our report found that, in the Great Lakes region, polluters dumped 8,390,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into our waterways,” Nikodem said. “With facilities dumping so much pollution, we should not be surprised that Lake Michigan can be unsafe for swimming and fishing, but we should be outraged.”
She said the need to protect the lake from pollution is a pressing one.
The group has been urging Congress to restore protections for streams, wetlands, and other waterways under the Clean Water Act. Environment Illinois says loopholes in the act have left more than 48,000 miles of streams in Illinois open to unchecked pollution.
“Unfortunately, practically every polluting industry on the planet is fighting tooth and nail to stop these vital clean water protections,” Nikodem said.
Environment Illinois has singled out Tyson Foods as the biggest polluter in Illinois and the U.S.