As intern at Environment Illinois, I am helping with a project to keep Illinois waterways clean. I was shocked to learn that recently the U.S. Senate defeated an attempt to allow more pollution into the streams and wetlands that feed Lake Michigan. For more than a decade, our waterways have been at risk of increased pollution, largely due to two polluter-driven Supreme Court decisions that opened loopholes in the Clean Water Act. These decisions left 57 percent of Illinois' streams, which feed into and clean our lake, at risk.
Also, the Senate narrowly defeated an amendment that would have blocked the restoration of these Clean Water Act safeguards. Unfortunately, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk supported the amendment. I worry that if his crucial vote continues to swing toward pollution, then Illinois children will not be able to enjoy the summertime benefits of safe water that I cherished as a child. I encourage you to call Sen. Kirk and tell him not to choose polluters' interests over the health of our waterways in the future.