The University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute, broke ground on its carbon capture pilot project at the City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) Dallman Unit 4 plant Thursday. The project is meant to reduce and eventually eliminate carbon emissions.
NPPR established the award in honor of Fred Granek, who suddenly passed away in January, 2014. It recognizes those who travel beyond their own borders to share information, ideas, and technologies that will avoid, eliminate and reduce waste.
Joy works with clients of ISTC’s technical assistance program (TAP) to identify opportunities to alter, improve, or introduce processes, operations, and activities to foster sustainability (including environmental, social, and economic factors). She primarily focuses on zero waste; sustainability planning, goal setting & visioning; communications about sustainability efforts; and stakeholder engagement.
In her twenty-one years at ISTC, she has made a significant impact at the local, state, regional, national, and international level by sharing pollution prevention information, ideas, and technologies. During her tenure, she has:
- Developed the idea, found campus partners, and successfully applied for seed funding for the Illini Gadget Garage, a collaborative repair center for student- and staff-owned electronic devices at the University of Illinois. As of December 2018, the Gadget Garage had diverted a total of 905.2 lbs. of materials from the waste stream through repair and special materials recycling.
- Managed the International Sustainable Electronics Competition , a student design competition that encouraged students to consider sustainability throughout the product lifecycle when designing electronics, as well as ways to reuse scrap electronic components in new products.
- Developed and ran the Green Lunchroom Challenge, a voluntary pledge program for schools to improve the sustainability of their food service operations, which was funded by a grant from U.S. EPA. Although the project is no longer funded, Joy still maintains a web archive for the project and a blog on related issues.
- Worked with the University of Illinois College of Engineering to develop and teach a class entitled “Sustainable Technology: Environmental & Social Impacts of Innovations.”
- Developed and taught a course on reuse as a sustainability strategy for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Illinois.
- Facilitated networking and information sharing among P2 technical assistance providers at both the regional and national levels through her work with the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable and the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange.
In addition to her work at ISTC, Joy is a board member of the Champaign County Environmental Stewards, an organization that fosters waste reduction and the ability of area citizens to responsibly manage materials by advancing improved local options for recycling, composting food scraps, and the safe and convenient disposal of household hazardous waste.
She also serves on the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition’s communications committee. In this role, she promotes IFSC news, as well as general information about food scrap composting and related issues in Illinois and beyond.
Finally, she served on the board of directors for a non-profit that gave rise to the Idea Store, a creative reuse center located in Urbana, IL.
Laura serves as a director-at-large on the ILA Executive Board and is the board liaison to the ILA Best Practices Committee. She is also a member of the ILA DEI Subcommittee of the Executive Board. She previously served as board liaison to the ILA Diversity Committee.
Synthetic chemicals are pervasive in our everyday lives. They’re in many of the products we use like fast food wrappers, cleaning products and personal care items. Even when we’re done with those things, the chemicals live on, and the impacts of that are far-reaching. A Chicago Tribune investigation earlier this year found more than 8 million people in Illinois get their drinking water utilities where at least one forever chemical has been detected . That’s six out of every 10 Illinoisans.
WILL-AM’s The 21st spoke to a panel of guests, including ISTC’s John Scott, to hear more about the study and learn about the impacts of emerging contaminants.
The Farm to Food Bank project, a collaboration between Feeding Illinois, the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, ISTC’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP), and Illinois farmers, has been getting some media attention. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Recent coverage includes:
- From farms to food banks, Illinois initiative expanding after successful pilot (FarmWeek, 4/9/22)
- Grundy County farm delivering on goal to impact lives (FarmWeek, 8/9/22)
- How to fix food supply chains? Make them more local (Bloomberg, 8/16/22)
- Benson farm family delivers tons of produce to food bank, with a little help from friends (and strangers) WCBU (8/16.22)
The Industrial Water, Waste & Sewage Group (IWWSG) has named Debra Jacobson the 2022 recipient of the E. Ted Erickson Distinguished Environmental Professional Award.
Ms. Jacobson joins a notable list of 24 past recipients, which is named in honor of founder E. Ted Erickson. The group established the award in 2000 to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution(s) in the environmental area, especially at the local and regional levels.
The award is granted based on recognition of the recipient’s community service advancing IWWSG’s goals, leadership / service to environmental professional organizations, including the IWWSG, and contributions to the field of environmental laws / compliance / management / education.
Ms. Jacobson is Associate Director at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a unit of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. She oversees the Technical Assistance Program, the Illinois Coastal Management Program team, and the Institutional Water Treatment unit. She also works as an environmental engineer overseeing technical, environmental and safety compliance assistance to organizations, including industrial facilities, within and outside Illinois. Ms. Jacobson collaborates with federal, state and local government agencies and industry trade groups on environmental matters including energy efficiency, zero waste and emerging environmental impacts, such as end of life renewable energy equipment.
On the July 19 episode of the Teach Me About the Great Lakes podcast, hosts Stuart Carlton and Carolyn Foley spoke with ISTC Coastal Hazards Specialist Vidya Balasubramanyam about lake level change and her work with municipalities to adapt to it. Tune in for an all-too-rare dose of optimism and a particular fact about donuts that, while true, we hadn’t considered before.
Read the full story from WICS.
Springfield is set to become the home of the world’s largest carbon capture research program.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced the construction phase of the $67 million research project at City Water, Light, & Power (CWLP) to study how to decrease carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
“You could really see a situation where people from across the globe are going to be coming to Springfield to see our progress with this particular project,” Kevin O’Brien said.
O’Brien is Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
An article co-authored by ISTC’s John Scott, Wei Zheng, and Nancy Holm is among the top cited research in Groundwater.
“Microplastic Contamination in Karst Groundwater Systems” was a collaborative effort of researchers from ISTC, ISWS, and ISGS. Published in 2019, it was the first to report microplastics in fractured limestone aquifers – a groundwater source that accounts for 25 percent of the global drinking water supply.