CHICAGO – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said she supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s order to clean up the Chicago River so people can use it safely.
Simon, who chairs three Illinois rivers conservation councils, made her comments at a Chicago River Summit at the Merchandise Mart hosted by the Friends of the Chicago River, which has led the charge for higher water quality standards and improved recreational activities on the city’s “second shoreline.”
Simon said: “The Chicago River is a great recreational asset, and we have an obligation to ensure that the people who use it are safe. Today, when our friends and family enter the river, they are exposed to harmful bacteria that could make them sick. I encourage federal, state and local officials to work together to expedite the disinfection of the Chicago River. As stewards of public health and the environment, we should aim for the highest water quality standards, not the minimum.”
Under state law, Simon chairs the Illinois River, Mississippi River, and Wabash and Ohio River Coordinating Councils, which work with local communities to address watershed issues.