U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visits a University of Illinois-owned farm in Urbana on Thursday.
Darell Hoemann/CU Citizen Access
September 10, 2015

Top Ag Official Announces $100 Million In Ethanol Infrastructure Funding

More ethanol fuel blends could soon be for sale at gas stations in Illinois after a multi-million dollar federal investment in the industry’s infrastructure. The U.S. department of Agriculture is giving the state $12 million dollars to expand access to ethanol in Illinois. 


Map of the Mahomet Aquifer
(Illinois State Water Survey)
September 09, 2015

3 Local Govts. Approve Landfill Consent Decree; 3 Delay Action

The Piatt County Board, Normal Town Council and the Decatur City Council all voted this week to approve a consent decree meant to keep future hazardous waste out of the Clinton Landfill. But local officials in Urbana, Forsyth and Champaign County delayed their decision.


The site along Windsor Road on the University of Illinois Urbana campus, where a solar farm is under construction.
(Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media)
September 08, 2015

20-Acre Solar Farm Under Construction At U Of I

The newest crop at the U of I South Farms will not be fruits or vegetables, but electricity. A solar farm is expected to begin supplying some of the electricty used on the Urbana campus by Thanksgiving.


Sital Uprety works with his water samples in Nepal.
Courtesy of Sital Uprety
September 03, 2015

Nepali Engineering Students Help Rebuild After Nepal’s Earthquake

A group of University of Illinois students from Nepal spent the summer helping to rebuild their country after last spring's 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The series of quakes and aftershocks killed some 9,000 people and destroyed buildings and infrastructure. Engineering student Sital Uprety tested and rebuilt water sanitation systems and talked with us about the trip.


Sign opposing the placing of PCB waste in the Clinton Landfill over the Mahomet Aquifer
(Sean Powers/WILL)
September 01, 2015

UPDATED: Champaign City Council Endorses Clinton Landfill Consent Decree

On a 6 to 2 vote Tuesday night, the Champaign City Council joined Tuscola, Monticello and the McLean County Board in approving an agreement meant to keep new hazardous waste out of the Clinton Landfill. But critics said the proposed consent decree lets the landfill off too easily.


Map of the Mahomet Aquifer
(Illinois State Water Survey)
August 20, 2015

Proposal Adds Precautions for MGB Waste at Clinton Landfill

Under a proposed consent decree, local governments would refrain from efforts to force the Clinton Landfill to remove manufactured gas plant waste, but the landfill to beef up its safety precautions.


Flooding in Des Plaines
(Photo: Illinois Department of Natural Resources)
July 27, 2015

Urban Flooding A Big Problem In Illinois

Urban flooding is most notable for flooded streets and flooded basements, especially due to storm sewer backups.   This type of flooding occurs in all of the counties in Illinois and usually happens in older sections of town where the infrastructure is old and also in subdivisions that were built in the 1950's and 1960's.


A storm hovers over an Illinois rural landscape on May 29, 2015. Extreme weather is likely to become more common in the Midwest under climate change conditions, according researchers and federal reports.
Photo by Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
July 21, 2015

GMOs, Monsanto And The Fight Against Climate Change

A Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of the USDA data found that Monsanto has been responsible for introducing 37 different genetically engineered seeds approved by the USDA. That number is about one-third of all USDA-approved GMOs. Most of those approved seeds have been for corn, soybean and cotton.


Indian Farm
Courtesy of Alan Guebert
July 17, 2015

Agriculture Will Return To ‘The Land Of Milk And Uncle Honey”

Alan Guebert has written a syndicated newspaper column about agriculture for about 20 years. Several of those columns have recounted what life was like on the “Southern Illinois dairy farm of his youth” – near St. Louis – and the beloved great uncle who came to “help.” At his daughter’s suggestion, the two of them have gathered those stories into a book, The Land of Milk And Uncle Honey. 


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