CBA Record November-December 2021


The Chicago Bar Association


adversely impacted by the second largest “dead zone” in the world unable to sus- tain marine life. Carson Vaughan’s article Floods, Carp and Crap: The Environmen- tal Impacts of the Chicago River Reversal provides great insight into Chicago’s continuing influence on U.S. waterways and related economies. A Gallup poll conducted earlier this year surveyed U.S. adults about how they feel about the environment. Twenty years of survey data exists related to what environmental concerns most worry Americans and, surprisingly, the responses have been consistent over the years. The top six environmental issues include: (1) pollution of drinking water; (2) pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs; (3) loss of tropical rain forests; (4) global warming/ climate change; (5) air pollution; and (6) extinction of plant and animal species. Only 41% of Americans rate the overall quality of the environment in the U.S. as excellent or good, while 59% think it is fair or poor. Despite tremendous improve- ments in environmental protection over the last 50 years since the first Earth Day in 1970, 52% of Americans believe the environment is getting worse, and only 42% believe it is improving. Chicago has been on the front lines, working to manage soil and groundwater contamination arising from its indus- trial legacy while also being a leader in preserving the environment, protecting waterways and Lake Michigan, and reshaping the community towards a greener tomorrow. Chicago’s environ- mental successes have been enhanced by the continuing support and good work of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation

President E. Lynn Grayson

First Vice President Timothy S. Tomasik

Second Vice President Ray J. Koenig III

Secretary Kathryn Carso Liss Treasurer John C. Sciaccotta

E nvironmental issues are front and center in the daily life of Chicagoland residents. Critical environmental concerns today include lead-contaminated drinking water sup- plies in some communities, the proposed relocation of the General Iron recycling facility, flooding and sewage back up in homes, erosion and water quality issues in the Great Lakes, and ever-present envi- ronmental justice considerations, among others. Indeed, Chicago has been at the epicenter of all things environmental since the flow of the Chicago River was reversed in 1900 to cease contaminating the City’s drinking water supply from Lake Michigan. While the reversal of the Chicago River has been celebrated as an engineer- ing marvel, some environmental groups and even government authorities have suggested Chicago consider reversing the flow once again to stop “floods, carp, and crap” sent downstream by Chicago to St. Louis and the Gulf of Mexico. Chicago’s wastewater remains the largest single contributor of phosphorus pollution to the Gulf of Mexico—a water body

Immediate Past President Maryam Ahmad

Executive Director Elizabeth A. McMeen

BOARD OF MANAGERS Michael Alkaraki

Hon. Charles S. Beach II Alexis Crawford Douglas Octavio Duran Robert W. Fioretti Malcolm “Skip” Harsch Risa R. Lanier Patricia L. McCarthy Hon. James M. McGing Hon. Clare Elizabeth McWilliams Juan Morado, Jr.

Brandon Peck Ashley Rafael Antonio M. Romanucci

Hon. Maria Valdez Sandra S. Yamate

6 November/December 2021

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