Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Quad Cities Waterkeeper Files Suit to Stop Concrete Dumping into Green River

Quad Cities Waterkeeper

The water quality advocacy group Quad Cities Waterkeeper filed a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit this week challenging the dumping of large quantities of concrete chunks and other construction waste into the Green River and the unpermitted dredging of sand from the river.

The Green River provides valuable habitat for a diversity of fish, wildlife and migratory birds and is an important tributary to the Rock River. Prairie Rivers Network has also filed a notice of intent to sue under the Clean Water Act.

The lawsuit names concrete hauler Ballegeer Trucking, its owner Dave Ballegeer and Francis Ballegeer as defendants in the case and alleges hundreds of days of violations of the Clean Water Act, each of which is punishable by a fine of up to $37,500 per day.

“They took a beautiful river and buried it in concrete,” says Waterkeeper Art Norris, who leads Quad Cities Riverkeeper’s efforts in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. “It’s a sad day when we cannot count on the Army Corps or Illinois EPA to protect the public’s rivers from the type of damage we see in this case, but if they won’t enforce our river protection laws then we will.”

Attorney Kim Knowles with Prairie Rivers agrees. “If it was legal to dump concrete into our rivers then no river in Illinois would be safe. The concrete dumping in this case not only harms fish and wildlife, but is a real public safety threat since it has metal rebar sticking out of the concrete that puts anyone who uses the river at risk.”

Kevin Cassidy, lead attorney in the case who works for the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, says the case involves issues that have national significance. “We are involved in the case because it is important not just for the Green River, but for every river in the United States. There are very few things someone can do to a river that have a bigger impact than covering it in concrete. This is exactly the type of pollution Congress said was illegal 40 years ago when it passed the Clean Water Act.”

Longtime Clean Water Act attorney Albert Ettinger of Illinois is the local counsel on the case.

Visit EcoWatch’s WATER and CLEAN WATER ACT pages for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pangolin hunting for ants. 2630ben / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Alexander Richard Braczkowski, Christopher O'Bryan, Duan Biggs, and Raymond Jansen

Pangolins are one of the most illegally trafficked animals on the planet and are suspected to be linked to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Humpback whale splashing in the North West Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts. Tim Graham / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

In a move that environmentalists warned could further imperil hundreds of endangered species and a protected habitat for the sake of profit, President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation rolling back an Obama-era order and opening nearly 5,000 square miles off the coast of New England to commercial fishing.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a healthy way to incorporate vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants into your diet.

Read More Show Less
These 19 organizations and individuals represent a small portion of the efforts underway to fight racism and inequality and to build stronger Black communities and food systems. rez-art / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg

Following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, people around the United States are protesting racism, police brutality, inequality, and violence in their own communities. No matter your political affiliation, the violence by multiple police departments in this country is unacceptable.

Read More Show Less
Residents plant mangroves on the coast of West Aceh District in Indonesia on Feb. 21, 2020. Mangroves play a crucial role in stabilizing the coastline, providing protection from storms, waves and tidal erosion. Dekyon Eon / Opn Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mangroves play a vital role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests are tremendous assets in the fight to stem the climate crisis. They store more carbon than a rainforest of the same size.

Read More Show Less
UN World Oceans Day is usually an invite-only affair at the UN headquarters in New York, but this year anyone can join in by following the live stream on the UNWOD website from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. https://unworldoceansday.org/

Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?

Read More Show Less

Trending

Cryptococcus yeasts (pictured), including ones that are hybrids, can cause life-threatening infections in primarily immunocompromised people. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

By Jacob L. Steenwyk and Antonis Rokas

From the mythical minotaur to the mule, creatures created from merging two or more distinct organisms – hybrids – have played defining roles in human history and culture. However, not all hybrids are as fantastic as the minotaur or as dependable as the mule; in fact, some of them cause human diseases.

Read More Show Less