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The endangered rusty patched bumble bee. (Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Four years after the rusty patched bumble bee was placed on the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its final recovery plan for the insect, a plan critics say manages to go too far and yet not far enough at the same time.

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Volunteers are needed for beach cleanups in September. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

As beach season winds down in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is hosting a series of weekend cleanups to clear the shoreline of a summer’s worth of litter and debris.

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Chicago River tour boats are reflected by a building window in Chicago, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

Rowers, kayakers and other users of the Chicago River are getting a real-time look at one measure of water quality in the system that weaves through downtown and several neighborhoods. 

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Al Raby High School teacher Jasmine Jones, second from left, and her students talk about their solar panel project. (WTTW News)
A group of students on the West Side are determined to make a big change by confronting environmental issues and working to bring solar energy to their community. We learn more about their vision for Garfield Park.
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A new Target warehouse facility in Little Village is expected to provide up to 2,000 jobs. (WTTW News)

It is expected to provide up to 2,000 jobs, but a new Target warehouse in Little Village — on the site of a botched coal plant demolition in April 2020 — has sparked protests among some community members.

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Nurdles found washed up on the beach at Dawlish Warren in Devon, England. (Partonez / Wikimedia Commons)

Each year, 22 million pounds of plastic finds its way into the Great Lakes – the source of potable water for more than 30 million Americans. We take a look at what can be done to limit plastic pollution.

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Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Ogle County, Illinois. (Christopher Peterson / Wikimedia Commons)

With possibly just a few weeks left before Exelon shutters a nuclear reactor in Byron, feuding and politically powerful interests have failed to reach a deal that would keep the plant open and otherwise move Illinois toward its renewable energy goals.

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(Creative Commons / Jeremy Atherton)

Black and Latino neighborhoods in Chicago are more likely to be burdened by industries that pollute the air, ground and water, making environmental justice an important part of the equation as the country moves forward.

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Project developers plan to build carbon capture pipelines connecting dozens of Midwestern ethanol refineries, such as this one in Chancellor, South Dakota, shown on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Corn absorbs the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but the process of fermenting it into ethanol releases carbon dioxide emissions. (AP Photo / Stephen Groves)

Two companies seeking to build thousands of miles of pipeline across the Midwest are promising the effort will aid rather than hinder the fight against climate change, though some environmental groups remain skeptical.

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A Chronolog station in the wild. (Courtesy of Chronolog)

Monitoring stations have been set up at various parks and preserves in the Chicago region for visitors to snap photos, which are then stitched together in a time-lapse series to document environmental changes. 

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This image from video shows the Tokyo Olympics medals. The Games kick off Friday, July 23 and run through Aug. 8. (Credit: Tokyo Olympics)

Some of the Games’ most high-profile moments will incorporate clever examples of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” like medalists standing on 3-D printed podiums made from recycled plastic collected by the Japanese people. 

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(Courtesy of Plastic Pollution Coalition)

Strides being made against the use of plastic products were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a global campaign is encouraging people to choose reusable materials over single-use plastic and get the reduction back on track.

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Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Ogle County, Illinois. (Christopher Peterson / Wikimedia Commons)

Lawmakers couldn’t clinch a deal on a comprehensive energy package before their regular session ended in May, but were called back to Springfield on Tuesday to try again. Instead, the Senate adjourned once again without taking action.

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HB3404 would provide funding for a proposed natural gas pipeline for the village of Hopkins Park in Pembroke Township. (WTTW News)

A bill heading to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk would provide funding for a proposed natural gas pipeline in a village outside Kankakee. Supporters say the pipeline could provide economic growth for the area, but others are concerned about the plan’s environmental impact.

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Officials said dozens of employees at Chemtool Inc. were safely evacuated following an explosion and fires at the plant in Rockton, Illinois. (WTTW News via CNN)

An explosion at a northern Illinois chemical plant Monday morning sparked massive fires that sent flames and huge plumes of thick black smoke high into the air and debris raining onto the ground, prompting evacuations.

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(WTTW News)

At the end of June, Illinoisans will no longer hear the words “Asian carp.” After several years and hundreds upon hundreds of millions spent trying to keep them from the Great Lakes, how can that possibly be? We explain.