October 2, 2015

Guests of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources enjoyed a guided tour of the Pine Station Nature Preserve on Gary, Indiana’s far northwest side.

New EPA rules will require BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana to monitor air quality at the borders of their property.

The site of a former pesticide and fertilizer factory, adjacent to the Grand Calumet River in Calumet City, Illinois, is now a Superfund site. The 54 acres of the former Estech General Chemical company (150 Marble Street) was active from 1952-1969. From the late 1980s until 1996 automobile wastes laden with PCBs and other toxins were dumped at the site. In 1999 the EPA covered the polluted materials under a foot of soil. Recent samples from the ground and lagoon showed contaminants as deep as twenty feet in the soil and water. For the sake of the river and the nearby community let’s hope the EPA is more effective the second time around.

The Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication has yet to issue a stay on construction of the Singleton Quarry, southeast of Lowell, Indiana. This despite receiving such a request from Illinois Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-2) last week. Inspection visits from the Lake County, Indiana Surveyor yields insight into the extent of project’s development. A ditch draining into Singleton Ditch was rerouted into an on-site retention pond, re-enforced with a slurry wall “made up of a compound that will prevent the water… from seeping out,” according to the Post Tribune. Water tested at the site was deemed clean. Mining at the site is prohibited until four planned retention ponds are completed.

The Sanitary/Stormwater District Board of Hobart will hold off on replacing the East Cleveland Avenue culvert over Duck Creek. The board also secured big saving for residents wanting to hook into the sewer system.

Krueger Middle School in Michigan City, Indiana celebrated the growth of its Outdoor Environmental Science Center with the opening of a new wetland trail system. The region’s only environmental science-focused school boasts a bird habitat, forest management, savannah and prairie restoration areas, and coming soon a butterfly habitat and stormwater reclamation area. The project involved youth taking the lead in planning, design, trail construction, and even in the education of younger students. Truly wonderful news!

ALL HAIL OUR BENEFICENT CORPORATE OVERLORDS! Enbridge, responsible for adding 800,000 gallons of oil to the Kalamazoo River in 2010, found $4,500 to fund a pollinator garden in Schererville, Indiana. A $34,000 grant from ArcelorMittal continues support of restoration work at Gibson Woods (Hammond, IN) and the Oak Ridge Prairie in Griffith, Indiana, and other Lake County, Indiana county parks.

A heart-melting story from Riverwoods, Illinois. Orphans of the Storm animal shelter has opened a 7.5 acre nature sanctuary just in time for “Adopt-A-Dog Month.” Volunteers and staff hope the more relaxed environment will lead to fewer stressed pooches and better adoptive matches.

Dog owners(sic) in Highland Park, Illinois are asking the Park District of Highland Park to ease rules prohibiting domesticated animals on the beach during the off-season.

On Tuesday, crews from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and the Illinois Department of Transportation rescued an injured American Bald Eagle on Interstate 55 near Darien, Illinois. An initial examination revealed abrasions and contusions, but no broken bones. It was sent for recuperating to the FPDDC’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Sadly, the injured bird died overnight.

This summer’s wet and warm weather conditions proved beneficial to leaf blotch. The fungus has hit horse chestnut and buckeye trees in the North Shore community of Wilmette, Illinois hardest, but arborists and foresters advise that problem is mainly aesthetic.

What does the future hold for the 100+ miles of riverfront in Chicago? Chicago residents will have a chance to share their thoughts this autumn at a series of public meetings held by Great Rivers Chicago.

A 15-mile stretch of dune and swale between Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and Waukegan, Illinois is now recognized as “Wetlands of International Importance” under the Ramsar Convention.

Mosquitoes collected in Elkhart County, Indiana have tested positive for West Nile virus. Twelve human cases have been reported in Indiana this year.

Finally this week, why are Northwest Indiana newspapers columnists so cranky over the liquor issue at Indiana Dunes State Park?



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