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A Chicago Department of Public Health sign warns passersby about hazardous materials at a 67-acre property west of Wolf Lake at 126th Place and Avenue O. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

A 67-acre Southeast Side site served as a dumping ground for Republic Steel for nearly 30 years. Inspection records show the property is contaminated with lead, cyanide, mercury and other potentially harmful pollutants. 

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Emmanuel Pratt (Courtesy MacArthur Foundation)

Emmanuel Pratt will use a South Side community farm he developed as a “living laboratory” to teach students about contemporary sustainability initiatives. 

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Rendering of the proposed Chicago zero-waste marketplace called Zaste. (Courtesy of Zaste)

Buying in bulk and hunting down package-free items can be a challenge that often requires trips to multiple stores. To make sustainable shopping more accessible, two Chicago sisters plan to open a zero-waste marketplace by spring 2020.

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(Kevin Gessner / Flickr)

A team led by several Chicago-area researchers has developed a new method to “upcycle” single-use plastics into a number of commonly used products, such as motor oils, detergents and cosmetics. 

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(Pixabay)

A group of 30 states and cities are taking legal action to defend the federal government’s authority to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants. 

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A piping plover (Lorraine Minns / Audubon Photography Awards)

Hundreds of bird species in North America are at risk of extinction from climate change, according to an alarming new report from the National Audubon Society.

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Maj. Erich Bergiel, right, inspects the solar panels on the roof of the Marjeh Fruit and Vegetable Packing Facility in Afghanistan while he talks with Abdul Rahman, a renewable energy engineer. (Master Gunnery Sgt. Phil Mehringer / U.S. Department of Defense)

An increasing number of veterans are pursuing careers in fast-growing environmental sectors, like solar and wind energy, says Jessica Klinge, who will lead the Illinois chapter of Green Veterans.

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

The Low-Income Solar Energy Act would expand an existing program and create new ones to make solar energy more affordable for low-income Americans. 

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Dr. May Berenbaum, professor of entomology and head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois (Courtesy University of Illinois)

The polar bear has become the poster child for climate change, but increasing temperatures impact many forms of life – including insects. Dr. May Berenbaum weighs in on what that means for the rest of life on Earth. 

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Flooding in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood on April 18, 2013. (Center for Neighborhood Technology / Flickr)

Illinois experienced more than 1,500 flood events from 2000 to 2018 – an average of 1.5 floods per week – resulting in $3 billion in property damages, according to a new report from the American Geophysical Union.

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(Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC)

The bill, which still needs approval in the full House and the Senate, would expand a 10-year effort to clean up toxic pollution, restore fish and wildlife habitat, manage invasive species and reduce runoff pollution in the Great Lakes.

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General Iron Industries is a scrap metal recycling company that has operated along the north branch of the Chicago River near Cortland Street and Clybourn Avenue. (WTTW News)

A longtime scrap metal recycler reaches a deal with the city to close up shop at its location next to the Lincoln Yards site and move operations to the Southeast Side. But not everyone is happy about it.

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PFAS foam in Van Ettan Lake in northeastern Michigan. (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr)

The National Wildlife Federation warns that pollution from PFAS chemicals – often called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down over time – could be one of the most serious threats facing the Great Lakes region. 

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An image of rice fields in Ubud, Bali, submitted as part of the study by an archaeologist from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. (Lucas Stephens / University of Pennsylvania)

Humans in many areas of the world were farming, burning forests, grazing their animals and causing major changes to the environment some 1,000 years earlier than previously thought. 

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French children release balloons into the air during a D-Day remembrance ceremony at the United States Army Air Forces Transport Memorial in Picauville, France, June 1, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

Five U.S. states have passed laws regulating the intentional release of balloons amid growing concerns over the risk they pose to wildlife. Illinois could be one of the next states to take action.

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Chicago nonprofit Blacks in Green is partnering with Sunrun, the country’s largest residential solar company, to expand access to solar opportunities on the city’s South Side.