Chesterton Tribune



Cowles Bog project supported; Illiana highway opposed by state Izaak Walton

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The Indiana Division of the Izaak Walton League of America has approved resolutions submitted by the Porter County Chapter (PCC) supporting the Cowles Bog restoration project currently being prosecuted by the National Park Service and in opposition to the Illiana Expressway.

At its recent annual convention in Griffith, the Indiana Division approved a total of three resolutions submitted by the PCC.

The first resolution passed is in support of the National Park Service Cowles Bog restoration project. “We criticize the Service when we think they are wrong,” President Jim Sweeney said. “We need to support them when we think they are right.”

The second resolution passed was in opposition to the building of the Illiana Expressway. “Our members have lots of problems” with the Illiana, Sweeney said. “We are worried about air and water quality impacts and uncontrolled development in the Kankakee River basin, harm to wetlands and woodlands, and development dollars being diverted away from our existing, older communities to the North.”

PCC also mentioned that the Illiana appears to be developed to accommodate the proposed Peotone, Illinois airport and intermodal transportation facilities.

“Nothing about the Illiana Expressway contributes to what the IWLA calls ‘’sustainable development,’” said Herb Read, a founding member of the PCC.

The third resolution is in support of strong federal government regulation of coal ash, a byproduct of industrial processes and coal-burning power plants. Sweeney said this waste stream is enormous and full of toxic chemicals, “yet is hardly regulated anywhere. The disposal sites are often unlined and uncovered landfills and pose significant threats to fish and wildlife, our water quality, and to people.”

Sweeney added that coal ash needs to be regulated by the US EPA because “the power companies and coal industry have too much clout in Indianapolis.”

The resolutions process is a formal procedure for developing IWLA conservation policy for the state and national organizations that starts at the member level and works its way up.

The three resolutions adopted by the state organization will be automatically forwarded to the national organization and considered at the League’s annual convention in Fredericksburg, Va., in July.

Copies of the full resolutions are available upon request.






Posted 6/21/2013