How clean is the water in Illinois?

Improving water quality is a crucial–yet often overlooked–part of controlling pollution in America. Environment Illinois released an extensive report Wednesday revealing the high amounts of industrial pollution present in Illinois water.

Environment Illinois analyzed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory for 2007. Some of the findings:

* Tyson Fresh Meats was the state’s biggest polluter, releasing 3 million pounds of toxic waste into a Mississippi River tributary.
*U.S. Steel’s Gary Works in Indiana discharged 1.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Lake Michigan and the Grand Calumet River, which drains into the lake.
* Four of the 12 highest ranked rivers in the U.S. for toxic discharges are in Illinois.

More Chicago Muckraking:

Journalism students at Northwestern University spent three years investigating the case of a Harvey man who has spent 31 years in prison for killing a security guard. The students say they uncovered new evidence that proves the man’s innocence.

Leading up to a court hearing to present the new findings, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday that the Cook County state’s attorney subpoenaed the students’ grades, notes and witness interview recordings. Professor David Protess, who leads the students through the Medill Innocence Project, told the Tribune that prosecutors should be more concerned with the man’s wrongful conviction than his students’ grades.

Read the full history of the case on the Innocence Project’s web site.

 –compiled by Christopher Danzig

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