,
|
A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not respond to a question from WTTW News about whether she thought it was appropriate for her appointees to reject the inspector general’s recommendation to fire an employee of the Chicago Department of Public Health and punish two other employees of the Department of Buildings responsible for approving and overseeing the implosion of the smokestack.

|
(Filmbetrachter / Pixabay)

Forget about napkins and ketchup packets too. On Tuesday, Chicago's single-use foodware ordinance will go into effect, meaning disposable utensils will no longer be included with a take-out or delivery order unless specifically requested by the customer. 

,
|
A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

The first report from interim Inspector General William Marback disclosed that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration declined to fire an employee of the Chicago Department of Public Health or punish two other employees of the Department of Buildings responsible for approving and overseeing the implosion of the smokestack.

,
|
A rendering of the Urban Sequoia prototype. (Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)

What if our cities could be more like forests? That’s the question at the heart of a new building prototype developed by architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

,
|
(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago has a long history of segregation and racial inequity. Now, a new data analysis by the DePaul University Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence shows inequity is rooted even in the planting of city trees.

,

Advocates say laws, not plans, are needed

|
(Creative Commons / Jeremy Atherton)

Three mayors in the past 15 years have all promised to combat the effects of global climate change. But some critics and scientists, along with a new data analysis by the DePaul University Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence, reveal their efforts have fallen short. 

,
|
Chicago is set to invest $46 million in tree planting over the next five years. But the distribution of trees throughout Chicago is far from equal. (WTTW News)

Chicago is set to invest $46 million in tree planting over the next five years. Trees can help improve air quality, reduce flooding, and offer several other health and social benefits. But the distribution of trees throughout Chicago is far from equal.

|
Big bluestem grass creates a colorful burgundy ribbon in a prairie. (Laura Hubers / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

So little prairie still exists in Illinois, most residents of the state have never encountered this rare landscape. Here, then, is an introduction.

|
(webandi / Pixabay)

The annual Pumpkin Smash event encourages people to compost their gourds instead of trashing them. Dozens of sites across the Chicago region will be collecting jack-o’-lanterns and gourds on Nov. 6.

,
|
A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

The final report from former Inspector General Joseph Ferguson did not detail why he concluded that the three employees should be disciplined, or whether city leaders would follow his recommendations.

,
|
In this May 12, 2021, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Michael Regan, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said his agency is taking a series of actions to limit pollution from a cluster of long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS that are increasingly turning up in public drinking water systems, private wells and even food.

|
U.S. Steel Midwest Plant on the shore of Lake Michigan, with the Indiana Dunes Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Trail in the foreground, in 2019. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed the “reddish-orange discharge” that poured into Lake Michigan on Sunday from a steel plant in Portage, Indiana, was caused by high levels of iron, and says there’s no indication of health risks for people who may come into direct contact with the water.

|
An ivory-billed woodpecker specimen is on a display at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (AP Photo / Haven Daley)

Death’s come knocking a last time for the splendid ivory-billed woodpecker and 22 more birds, fish and other species: The U.S. government on Wednesday declared them extinct.

|
U.S. Steel Midwest Plant on the shore of Lake Michigan, with the Indiana Dunes Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Trail in the foreground, in 2019. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

U.S. Steel is reporting that a “rusty colored” discharge that poured into Lake Michigan on Sunday from its plant in Portage, Indiana, was due to elevated iron levels.

|
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.

|
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.