"Obama, U.S. EPA Push for Cleaner Chicago River"

"Walled and fenced off from most of the city, the Chicago River for decades was widely seen as a putrid eyesore where fish and wildlife weren't welcome, let alone people.

But in a significant policy shift, the Obama administration is calling for a once-unfathomable idea: The Chicago River, an erstwhile prairie stream engineered into a sewage canal that flows backward from Lake Michigan, should be safe enough for swimming.

The administration's position, outlined in a letter quietly filed with a state rulemaking panel, goes far beyond new water quality standards proposed by Illinois regulators. The state's plan would limit disease-causing bacteria in the river for the first time and require other steps to help fish thrive in concrete-lined channels that stretch through the city."

Michael Hawthorne reports for the Chicago Tribune June 1, 2010.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010