We’re calling on Congressman Danny Davis to vote “No” on HR5078. Our waterways are a huge part of how we enjoy summers in Illinois. For me, this summer was no different. I’m a student at Loyola University and this summer was filled with classes and lots of homework. Luckily, Loyola’s campus is right on Lake Michigan, so I spent most of my afternoons relaxing on its shore and swimming in its water. I was far from the only one who spent my summer near the lake. In fact, over 32 million people visited Illinois state parks with waterways.

Despite how popular our waterways are, a loophole in the Clean Water Act has left 55% of Illinois’ streams vulnerable to pollution. Residents near Lake Michigan are suffering because many of these streams feed and clean the lake. If our waters aren’t worth protecting and the health of our citizens isn’t worth saving, what is worth protecting?

Thankfully, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed closing this loophole to protect Lake Michigan and all of the state’s rivers and streams. The EPA is taking public comments on their rule until Oct. 20, but polluters like agribusinesses and big developers are lobbying against it because apparently money piques more interests than saving the water. That’s why it’s so important that everyone who enjoys Lake Michigan and all of our rivers, lakes and streams make their voice heard. 

Lynda Nguyen

Environment Illinois