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. 

In this April 24, 2015, file photo, pumpjacks work in a field near Lovington, N.M. Oil industry and environmental groups say they expect the Environmental Protection Agency to release a proposed rule over the next few days that will roll back requirements on detecting and plugging methane leaks at oil and gas facilities. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

The step by the Trump administration would be the latest in a series unwinding the Obama administration’s efforts to cut climate-changing emissions from the oil, gas and coal industries. 

General Iron’s scrap metal yard at 1909 N. Clifton Ave. in Lincoln Park. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

New rules for a scrap metal yard on the city’s North Side require the facility to reduce emissions of potentially cancer-causing compounds after it violated federal air pollution standards last summer.

(SD-Pictures / Pixabay)

Living in areas with poor air quality increases one’s likelihood of suffering from depression, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses, according to a new study by University of Chicago researchers.

Piles of coal ash after a 2008 spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee. (Brian Stansberry / Wikimedia Commons)

A new law in Illinois prohibits discharge of coal ash into the environment and establishes a regulatory framework to ensure that polluting companies finance the cleanup of coal ash waste, according to the Illinois Environmental Council.

S.H. Bell’s bulk storage facility along the Calumet River on Chicago’s Southeast Side. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon begin removing up to 2 feet of contaminated soil from as many as 15 homes near a storage facility operated by S.H. Bell, which handles manganese and other industrial materials. 


Public officials and environmental advocates are speaking out against the Trump administration’s rollback of an Obama-era effort to shift the U.S. away from coal-fired power plants. 

In this July 27, 2018, file photo, the Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyoming. (AP Photo / J. David Ake, File)

The Trump administration on Wednesday completed one of its biggest rollbacks of environmental rules, replacing the landmark Obama-era Clean Power Plan with a replacement rule.

More than a century after Upton Sinclair described a stretch of the Chicago River as “a great open sewer,” Bubbly Creek is still plagued by waste – and the restoration process has been mired in its own political muck.

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

Records show the 67-acre site on the Far Southeast Side, used as a dumping ground for more than two decades by Republic Steel, is contaminated with lead, manganese, mercury and other toxins.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 21, 2019.

The Trump administration has proposed $2.8 billion in cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including a decrease of more than $1.4 billion in funding for states. 

An overhead view of Watco’s storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are among those urging the EPA to take “immediate action” against Southeast Side industrial facilities for emitting potentially harmful levels of brain-damaging manganese dust.

An interactive map shows results from soil sampling conducted near S.H. Bell. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Regulators plan to clean up the soil of several residential yards with high levels of brain-damaging manganese, but they have yet to finalize a plan for addressing homes with elevated levels of lead in the soil.

An overhead view of Watco's storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

Watco Transloading says it will no longer handle materials with high concentrations of manganese, a heavy metal used in steelmaking that can cause brain damage at high exposure levels. 

The Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook (Chicago Tonight)

A medical supply sterilization company in suburban Willowbrook was shut down Friday by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency due to elevated cancer risks.

(Google Maps)

Chicago facilities that process potentially harmful industrial materials must now take further steps to ensure they aren’t polluting surrounding neighborhoods.