Much of climate change information can be sobering and overwhelming to digest, but it doesn’t have to be. Join author Paddy Woodworth at the Illinois River Conference at the Hotel Pere Marquette on Thursday for a presentation on the many successes that have occurred around the world by individuals and organizations have made positive change in the battle against the impacts of climate change. Woodworth is the author of Our Once and Future Planet published by the University of Chicago Press (ISBN 9780226333403).
The City of Peoria will be hosting a public planning session regarding the extension of Riverfront Park on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Gateway Building (200 NE Water Street). The City is seeking input from the community regarding what recreational and design elements should be included in this new park area.
The City has identified approximately 8 acres of property immediately adjacent to Riverfront Park that will serve as an extension of the park. The proposed new park, a combination of private property and currently unimproved public property, will add an additional 750 linear feet of access to the Illinois River. It will also ensure public ownership of the entire river front from I-74 to Detweiller Marina. The planning event will allow citizens and other stakeholders to share their thoughts about the design of this new area. Facilitated small group discussions will yield input on landscaping, recreational elements, interaction with the water and other park elements. The City will also use an Internet-based survey to solicit ideas from those who cannot make the meeting. This survey will launch the week of November 2, 2015. Designers will incorporate community preferences into a master plan and budget that will be presented to the public. Project information will be housed on the City’s website: www.peoriagov.org/riverfrontpark.
As part of the River Trail project, the City needs to acquire property to convert into recreational open space in order to compensate for the loss of parkland to the development. The City will need the approval of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and National Park Service (NPS) in order to finalize the land swap. A key step in obtaining that approval is submitting a plan for how this newly acquired property will be improved into a park. While creating an improvement plan is a critical activity, the City is pursuing the other steps in obtaining the proper approvals that will allow the River Trail project to proceed. The City will host at least one public hearing, separate from the upcoming planning session, which will allow citizens the opportunity to support, oppose or otherwise comment on the entire conversion. That date has not yet been set.
Questions can be directed to Christopher Setti, Assistant City Manager, at (309) 494-8618 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU LIVE IN PEORIA WE WANT YOU TO SIGN A PETITION. This petition will be directed directly at your District Council Member. Petitions are listed below. Please share with friends and neighbors. Time is short, but we need to present as many signatures as possible!
Contact Dave Pittman at email@example.com to turn in your signatures. We will collect them in time to present at the September 22 City Council meeting. Here is the wording: We the undersigned voters and taxpayers of the [insert your district] District are opposed to the sale of Riverfront Park to River Trail Drive LP. As voters and taxpayers of the ( first, second, third, fourth or fifth )District, we call on you to vote NO on the River Trail Drive Development.
Click on your district to download your PDF. Sign and circulate. Then we need them in time to present at the September 22 City Council meeting. Don’t forget you should also contact the At-large council members and Mayor voicing your opinion.
Our upcoming meeting, scheduled for April 21, 2105, has been cancelled to allow members to attend the annual League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria fundraising banquet with guest speaker Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. See you at Forest Park Earthday on Saturday, April 18.
Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance Works to Improve Air Quality and Stop Contributing to Global Warming
Our friends at the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance have published a new fact sheet on the dangers of coal pollution coming from the Edwards coal-fired power plant near Bartonville and Pekin.
The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center has release information to help recover from diaster and rebuild in Illinois. The document below is a great resource for residential, public and commercial buildings making a plan to have more efficient buildings and where to find financial assistance that may be able to help.
For more information, see there web site at: http://smartenergy.illinois.edu/
New Pollution Study Shows Peoria Area Residents at Risk from Harmful E.D. Edwards Coal Plant Emissions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2013
Emily Rosenwasser, Emily.Rosenwasser@sierraclub.org, 312-251-1680 x119
Kady McFadden, Kady.McFadden@sierraclub.org, 630-747-0915
New Pollution Study Shows Peoria Area Residents at Risk from Harmful E.D. Edwards Coal Plant Emissions
Potential New Owners Dynegy Asking For A Five Year Delay in Installing Pollution Controls, Community Demanding a Plan to Clean Up Pollution Now
View Map Outlining Pollution from the E.D. Edwards Coal Plant:
PEORIA – Dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution from the E.D. Edwards coal-fired power plant threatens the health of thousands of Peoria and Tazewell County residents according to a new air modeling study released today by the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance. According to the modeling study, the E.D. Edwards coal plant is allowed to emit toxic SO2 pollution at up to 7.5 times above the limit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says is required to protect public health.
The decades-old E.D. Edwards coal plant is currently operated by Ameren, but the coal plant is part of Ameren’s no-cash sale of five Illinois coal plants to Texas-based energy company Dynegy. The coal plant currently does not have any modern and widely available sulfur dioxide pollution controls installed.
“Pollution from the E.D. Edwards coal plant is making our community sick,” said Don Jackson, President of NAACP Peoria Branch. “The map clearly shows that the Edwards plant is allowed to pollute so heavily that it affects residents all the way from Morton to Chillicothe. It is time to put Peoria on a path to cleaner air and water by setting a timeline to clean up or phase out the outdated Edwards coal plant.”
Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, is a harmful air pollutant. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits on how much can accumulate in the air we breathe. SO2 triggers asthma attacks, airway constriction and other respiratory problems.
“Exposure to sulfur dioxide pollution for even five minutes can make it hard for a person to breathe and high levels of exposure to sulfur dioxide can send people to the emergency room,” said Brian Urbaszewski of Respiratory Health Association. “This pollutant is especially dangerous for the 39,000 people who suffer from asthma in Peoria and Tazewell counties.”
With Dynegy poised to take over the plant from Ameren, area residents are concerned that the company lacks a plan to clean up the plant. The Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) is currently reviewing Dynegy’s request for permission to delay installing vital and widely-available pollution control technology until 2020.
“It is outrageous that the E.D. Edwards coal plant is permitted to pollute Peoria at rates of more than seven times the safe limit” said Tracy Fox of Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste. “And it’s even more outrageous that Dynegy wants to step in and ask to delay installing life-saving pollution controls until 2020. Our community is ready to phase out dependence on coal and invest in our future by securing clean air and a better Peoria.”
Coal-fired power plants like the E.D. Edwards plant are the largest source of SO2 pollution in Peoria and Tazewell counties, as well as nationwide. Old, dirty and uncontrolled plants like the Edwards plant threaten public health by emitting concentrations of pollution in excess of what the EPA says is safe. The coal plant’s uncontrolled emissions were analyzed in light of the new, more stringent EPA standard for SO2 that reflects the up-to-date scientific consensus on what levels of SO2 present a risk to nearby communities.
Wingra Engineering, S.C. completed the air quality study, which used an EPA-approved air quality dispersion model and publicly available data to evaluate pollution from the Edwards coal plant.
The engineer ran the model following EPA procedures for evaluating the impacts of power plant SO2 emissions. This does not reflect the E.D. Edwards plant’s current air permit’s extremely lenient 24-hour averaging time for SO2, which allows hourly emissions to spike.
“Corporate refusals to invest in cleaning up the Edwards coal plant just underscore that now is the time to put the Edwards plant on a path toward retirement,” said Kady McFadden, Field Organizer with the Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign in Peoria. “The community deserves clean air, clean water and a safer place to recreate and raise children. Ameren and Dynegy must be upfront with the community and establish a clear plan moving forward for the Edwards coal plant that includes a reasonable phase-out date, ensures a just transition for the workers and a plan to remediate the site.”
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA establishes National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for pollutants such as sulfur dioxide that harm public health. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to revisit ambient standards for pollutants such as sulfur dioxide every five years to ensure the levels keep up with the best science regarding the threat of air pollution to public health. In June 2010, the EPA finalized a standard for sulfur dioxide setting a ceiling for ambient concentrations of the pollutant on a 1-hour basis to protect against short-term spikes in sulfur dioxide pollution, which the EPA found can have an adverse effect on at-risk populations such as children and the elderly during spikes in pollution in intervals as short as 5 minutes. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/airquality/sulfurdioxide/.
To view a fact sheet on the sulfur dioxide (SO2) air modeling study and pollution in the Peoria area, please visit: sc.org/1cgPZTQ.
The Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance (CIHCA) is a coalition of individuals and organizations committed to creating a sustainable and healthy community for Central Illinois. CIHCA is concerned about the decades of air and water pollution created by the Edwards coal plant south of Bartonville. CIHCA is working to retire the Edwards plant and transition Central Illinois to a cleaner energy economy by reducing energy use, and moving to renewables such as wind and solar, and requiring a just transition for workers.