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Monthly Public Radio Programs

The IEPA is no longer producing this monthly programs, but you can still listen to the earlier ones.

From 2000 to 2004, each month the IEPA produced and narrated a radio show dealing with current environmental issues being dealt with in Illinois. The show was broadcast each month as part of a feature in the WUIS 91.9 FM-Springfield Living in Illinois program. The feature could be heard first on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. with a rebroadcast the following Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Living in Illinois also aired on WSIU 91.9 FM-Carbondale on the fourth Saturday of the month at 6:30 a.m.

Program Titles and Descriptions

Note: You will need the Real One Player to listen to these radio programs. If you do not already have it, you can download the free version from Real Networks.


October —Idling Gets You Nowhere
The direct exposure of children to particulate matter emissions, resulting from the combustion of diesel fuel, led to the creation of the Illinois Clean School Bus Program last year. The Clean School Bus Program provides funding to assist schools and school districts to reduce emissions from diesel-powered school buses. But perhaps the easiest thing that schools can do to reduce emissions is to create and enforce an anti-idling policy. Hear from school districts in Illinois who have taken a pro-active approach to stop school bus idling.
September — Revitalization of Brownfields
One of the most important elements of addressing a Brownfield in a community is in the initial creation of a vision for the community and then making a commitment to that vision. Both the rural Town of Gillespie and the urban Village of Morton Grove were successful in the cleanup and redevelopment of their Brownfields properties. These two communities share their experiences with the process of redevelopment and offer advice to other communities facing similar challenges.
August — Pollution Prevention Internship Program
Each year, the Illinois EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention recruits upper-level university students to work on projects during the summer with the purpose of helping industries and business to identify, research and incorporate energy efficient technologies and practices into their workplace. Interns and sponsors talk about their experiences and the many benefits gained from participating in the program.
June — Ohio River Sweep
The Ohio River Sweep, an annual 3000-mile riverbank cleanup for the Ohio River and its tributaries, marked its 16th anniversary this year and has grown into one of the largest cleanup events of its kind. In Illinois, the Sweep accounts for 133 miles of shoreline. Learn about the efforts of volunteers at Ft. Massac State Park in Metropolis and how you can do your part to help clean up next year!
May — Illinois Junior Academy of Science State Science Fair
For the 2nd consecutive year, the Illinois EPA took part in the Illinois State Science Fair to judge and award middle and high school student projects related to the protection and care of the environment. This program includes interviews with two of the Environmental Excellence Award winners and highlights the Illinois EPA's support and encouragement of students to continue their interest in the environment.
April — Freeport's Artistic Vision
The Rawleigh Complex, poised dramatically at the edge of Freeport's downtown, is an abandoned 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Today, since the immediate environmental issues have been largely mitigated, Freeport has refocused its energies on returning the Rawleigh Complex site back to productive use, providing a tax base and jobs for the city once again. Find out how this Illinois community used public participation as part of developing a creative reuse for the property.
March — Hartford Basement Vapor Problem
Refining, storage and transport of petroleum products via pipeline have dominated industrial activity in Hartford for many decades. Unfortunately, this long history of refining operations is accompanied by an equally long history of petroleum releases from the pipelines and on-site facilities that has resulted in a multitude of problems for northeast Hartford residents. This program explores the history of refinery activities and what the Illinois and U.S. EPA, and responsible industries, are doing to help local residents deal with concerns.
February — Used Tire Program & IMES Program
According to the most recent data, landfill capacity in the state remains adequate with an average of 13 years of space remaining. While 13 years of space may not sound like much, capacity has improved significantly since the early 90's when only six to seven years of landfill area remained in Illinois. This increase in space is due in part to the vigorous recycling efforts of municipalities and citizens, in addition to several programs administered by the Illinois EPA that divert waste from landfills. Learn about the Used Tire Program and the Industrial Material Exchange Service, two IEPA efforts that reduce the amount of unnecessary waste going into state landfills.
January — Household Hazardous Waste
When you look in your garage, under your sink, or in the basement or shed, do you see lots of old paint cans, jugs of used motor oil and antifreeze, unwanted pesticides, containers of dirty paint thinner, and other unusable household chemicals? When certain household chemicals are not used up they can become household hazardous waste. This program offers tips for use, storage and disposal of these products and spotlights the IEPA Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program.


December — Illinois Clean School Bus Program
This show highlights a multi-faceted program aimed at replacing diesel-powered school busses with cleaner models that will result in a healthier environment for Illinois' school children and communities. Interviews with BP and International representatives, IEPA Director Renee Cipriano and the State of Illinois Superintendent of Schools are included.
November — World Water Monitoring Day
In 2003, the Chicago Botanic Garden welcomed Illinois volunteers, high-school scientists, students and others in celebrating the 1st annual World Water Monitoring Day. World Water Monitoring Day was created as a means to introduce people to the importance of personal involvement in the monitoring of their local streams, lakes and wetlands. Find out who is getting involved and how you too can become a citizen monitor!
October — Phytoremediation
Everyone knows that plants provide oxygen, as well as food for humans and animals alike. But what may not be known is that plants can help clean up pollution in the environment. Phytoremediation is a new technology being used around the world as an alternative method in toxic site remediation. A forestry consultant, an IEPA project manger, and a BP representative discuss this innovative use of plants.
September — Alternative Uses For Landscape Waste
Did you know that during the summer and fall months, collected landscape debris can account for more than 50% of the waste stream? There are alternatives to burning and bagging grass and leaves, and this program discusses mulching, mowing, and composting methods used on both the large and the small scale. Bottles and cans aren't the only things being recycled these days!
August — Pollution Prevention (P2) Intern Program
Each summer, upper-level university students work on projects to help companies identify, research and incorporate pollution prevention technologies and practices. The program, facilitated by the Illinois EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention, employs students as temporary full-time employees of the sponsoring facility. Students and Employers explain how the P2 program has helped Illinois businesses save millions of dollars and reduce environmental releases by over 200,000 pounds.
July — Biodiesel
Biodiesel is a fuel of the future that is already benefiting air quality and the economy of Illinois. Made from soybeans, often grown by Illinois farmers and using technologies and manufacturing in Illinois, Illinois EPA is encouraging the use of biodiesel in transit buses, school buses and other vehicle. Biodiesel reduces hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate emissions and eliminates sulfates from the tailpipes of diesel-burning vehicles. The program includes an interview with Director Cipriano, as well as Chicago metro area industry leaders, vendors and municipal leaders.
May — Recycling In Illinois
More than 5 million tons of useful materials are kept out of landfills every year because of recycling. So where does it go? Consumers are now purchasing products that are made out of recycled commodities: green soda bottles are made into carpet, plastic bags and milk jugs make plastic lumber. Learn about the three-fold benefits of recycling and how worms do their part, too!
April — Kids And The Environment
Students throughout the Capital city and its surrounding communities are participating in projects at school to learn about the environmental and what they can do to help keep it healthy. Projects range from gardening and composting with worms, to community service and recycling programs. Find out how area teachers combine these experiences with traditional curriculums, and how students are responding to this integrated classroom education.
March — West Nile Virus
Since 1999, WNV has been detected in humans, horses, birds, or mosquitoes in 47 states and the District of Columbia. While less than 1% of people bitten by infected mosquitoes develop serious complications from the virus, everyone needs to protect themselves to minimize the risk of spread and infection. Specialists from the Illinois Department of Health and the IEPA discuss the causes of outbreaks and ways to avoid the West Nile Virus risk. Fight the Bite!
February — Methane Gas At Landfills
Who would think that the garbage people throw away every day can eventually create electricity? Open landfills throughout the state are capturing methane in their collection systems and converting it to electricity. Even closed landfills are being considered as untapped sources of energy. Learn how garbage turns into gas, and the future hope for this form of Green Energy.
January — Solar Power
Springfield is home to a solar-powered convenience store owned and operated by the BP Corporation, one of over 300 BP retail sites worldwide that have been built or retrofitted with solar panels. But, it's not the only place in Springfield that has incorporated solar power. This program provides interviews with state and local agencies regarding the use of solar power within the Capital city, and the financial assistance that is available to encourage using renewable energy sources.


December — Mercury
All forms of mercury are fairly toxic. Exposure to mercury can cause stomach problems, skin rashes, and can have serious effects on the central nervous system. Find out how Illinois Green schools protect their students and faculty by getting rid of mercury and other hazardous educational wastes in the classroom.
November — Green Illinois Initiatives
Green Illinois is designed to increase awareness and promote efforts to reduce waste, use alternative fuels, improve energy efficiency, and generally use products and procedures that are environmentally sustainable and economically efficient. This program highlights the following initiatives: Green Youth Awards, Green Demonstration Grant Program, Green Schools, and Green Government Awards. Learn about a 15 year old from Newton who took the challenge and designed and built a 5-acre wetland on her family's farm.
October — The Year of Clean Water
October 18, 2002 was the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act. This landmark legislation, with a goal of making the nation's water fishable, swimmable and drinkable, helped to make significant strides in the improvement of water quality in Illinois. Illinois EPA representatives discuss past and present water quality, and talk about the challenges of the future.
September — Wood River Brownfield
The former BP/Amoco refinery site in Wood River was designated in 2001 by USEPA as one of only five Resource Conservation Recovery Act Brownfield Pilot Projects in the nation. The ongoing cleanup and redevelopment of the site, a result of collaboration between the private and public sectors, has resulted in a successful "Brownfields" showcase project. Find out how this site went from a contaminated status to a community possibility.
August — Green Pays on Green Days
The Illinois EPA and the Partners for Clean Air co-sponsor the Green Pays on Green Days program as an educational initiative to target individual citizens to reduce air pollution in the Greater Chicagoland area. This program looks at ways that individual contributions and responsible actions can benefit the environment for generations to come. Interviews with Illinois EPA director Renee Cipriano are included.
July — Centralia Landfill
In 1998, Illinois EPA identified orphaned landfill sites as critical environmental problems that needed to be addressed. The Centralia landfill is one of 33 landfills that no longer accepted waste but was never properly closed. Significant erosion and exposed wastes allowed rainwater and ponded water to infiltrate the landfill and contaminate groundwater and nearby streams. Learn what steps were taken to clean-up the situation at Centralia, as well as 2 other nearby abandoned landfills.
June — Green Architecture
Green building uses cutting-edge techniques that conserve natural resources, increase energy efficiency, and improve the workplace environment. This program interviews architects, engineers and other state agency representatives who support the "green" building movement, and offer suggestions on what kinds of products and applications are being utilized in current projects.
May — Earth Week Events
During the month of April, Illinois EPA sponsored and participated in various environmental events including Earth Day, Earth Awareness Fair, Earth Stewardship Day, and the Partners for Clean Air Breakfast. This show features interviews with those involved in the various proceedings.
April — Green Fleets
The Illinois Green Fleets program recognizes businesses and government units throughout Illinois that have implemented clean, alternative fuels into their fleet operations. In order to qualify, a fleet must have alternative fuel vehicles (AFV's) as a portion of its vehicles and alternative fuel must be used. Find out who is involved in the program and why citizens should consider using alternative fuels as well.
March — Green Illinois Program
Governor George Ryan signed executive orders while in office directing state agencies to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into day-to-day operations. This program spotlights the Green Illinois initiative and it's two components: Green Government and Green Communities. Some efforts include paper recycling, driving flexible fuel vehicles and using compact fluorescent light bulbs.
February — Unsewered Community Grant Program
A look at the Unsewered Community Grant Program, a program that will financially help communities throughout Illinois replace existing polluting septic systems with sewage treatment facilities.
January — The Brownfields Phoenix Award
This award was created in 1997 to honor groups that develop Brownfields sites across the nation. Winners are chosen on a regional basis and then compete for the grand prize at the National Annual Brownfields Conference. An Illinois project, the Alton Center Business Park, won a Phoenix Community Impact Award in 2001 and is highlighted in this show.


December — Brownfields Developments
One of the key pieces to completing a successful Brownfield (an abandoned and/or underused industrial or commercial property) is to get a developer on board from the beginning. City of Lockport Mayor Frank Mitchell provides an interview talking about the hands-on approach that he and the city have taken to bring in developers for their projects.
November — Washington Park Shoreline Restoration
The shorelines of the lagoons and streambanks in Washington Park, located in the heart of Springfield), had fallen victim to erosion over the last 100 years. Hear how the Illinois EPA and the Springfield Park District teamed up to some the unsightly problem using geo-textiles, native plantings and elevated boardwalks.
October — Public Water Supply "Radio Nuclide" Compliance
Public water suppliers in Illinois were required by law to comply with the Federal Radio Nuclide ruling by December 2003. This show discusses the lengthy process, the cost of complying with the rule, treatment options and how the city of DeKalb overcame these obstacles while coming into compliance.
September — Beck Area Career Center
Hecker, Illinois is home to a one of a dozen former Nike Hercules Missile sites located across the state. Besides being a part of Illinois' cold war history, the site has also housed the Beck Area Career Center since 1972. The Center has made use of the intact facility and offers educational programs for three surrounding counties. This program focuses on the transition of the former military site to a unique community asset.
August — Motorola/Green Fleet Expo
The Green Fleet Expo was held for the 2nd year at Motorola campuses across the state. The purpose of the on-going program is to educate Motorola employees on the newest potentials in alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. Representatives from GM, Illinois EPA, Nicor, and others were on hand to answer questions concerning fuel options, tax incentives, and benefits to the environment. Interviews with these professionals are included.
July — U.S. Coast Guard Vessel of Opportunity
What if there was an oil spill on the Illinois or the Mississippi River? We can rest assured that if an oil spill should occur, both federal and state officials have a clean up plan prepared. Learn about an interesting set of demonstrations conducted by the Illinois DOT, Illinois DNR, Illinois EPA, and U.S. Coast Guard that showed off the latest in oil containment and recovery equipment.
May — Prairie Restoration on Capped Landfills
An advantage of planting prairie forbs on capped landfills is that once the plants become established their long roots hold the soil in place and virtually eliminate erosion. The Illinois EPA used this alternative method of maintaining landfills in Taylorville. Interviews with prairie restoration specialists, environmental protection specialists, and IEPA project managers share the story of the planting and annual burning of former landfills, and the resulting effective and inexpensive alternative to maintaining them.
April — Beardstown Ameren CIPS Cleanup
What would be your reaction if a utility company announced that they were going to remove potentially hazardous material from the ground in your community? Chances are you would have many questions. Ameren CIPS, an electrical provider in Cass County, made such an announcement to the residents of Beardstown, Illinois. This program talks with company representatives, community residents, and Illinois EPA project managers about the remediation efforts.
February — Southeast Chicago "Cluster Sites"
The Illinois EPA uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to accurately locate specific areas on a site that may not easily be distinguished by reference points to determine areas that are in need of testing for contamination. Learn about the use of GPS in the remediation of six sites in the Chicago area, and hear from field staffers and Agency director Tom Skinner.
January — Used Tire Program
In the mid 1990's, the Illinois General Assembly banned the disposal of used tires in Illinois landfills. The main reason was to help contain the spread of the Asian tiger mosquito, but it was also recognized that tires could provide a significant economic opportunity for recycling. Todd Marvel, Manager of the Illinois EPA Used Tire Program, offers important information on the topic.


December — Dealing with Mercury
In late July 2000, an abundance of accidental mercury spills were discovered in a number of homes in the Chicago area. The problem was the result of the removal and replacement of outdated mercury-containing gas regulators. This program deals with the mercy discovery, and the subsequent involvement by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the IEPA and USEPA.
November — Consumer Confidence Reports
All people have the right to know what is in their drinking water and where it comes from. The Consumer Confidence Report provides an opportunity for water suppliers to educate consumers about the sources and quality of their drinking water and to involve them in decisions about it. Did you read yours this year? (Hint: It came with the water bill.) Professionals talk about misunderstandings concerning what the report is and why it is important for you to be aware of it.
September — Western Lion Landfill Remediation
Thirty-three "orphan" landfills that no longer accept waste but were never properly sealed and closed were identified last year by Illinois EPA as a critical environmental problem that needed to be addressed. The legislature appropriated the funds and Governor Ryan signed the funding measure including $50 million in the Illinois FIRST program for tackling problems. Learn about what is being done at the abandoned Western Lion and Service Disposal #1 Landfill sites in Coles County.
August — Governor's Environmental Corp
A program developed by former Director Mary Gade and Governor Jim Edgar, the GEC Summer Internship provides opportunities for college student to get a valuable first-hand knowledge of issues and careers in the environmental field through work experience with the Illinois EPA. Additionally, interns participate in team-building exercises and tour facilities that the Agency regulates. This program talks to interns about their summer at IEPA.
May — Earth Stewardship Day
Earth Stewardship Day is a chance for 4th graders throughout Sangamon County to learn about the importance of the Earth's environment and resources. Held annually at the State Fairgrounds, students play games and listen to presenters from the sponsoring state agencies, as well as local and county groups. Students, teachers and event coordinators talk about the unique learning experience offered.
April — Glenview Naval Air Station
The remediation of closed military bases returns otherwise unusable property back into usable land, as well as providing employment resulting in economic revitalization of communities. The former Glenview Naval Air Station, a property with over 1300 acres, was one of the first and most successful remediation efforts of its kind in the United States. A brief history of the base is covered and interviews explain the IEPA's role in the project.
March — Illegal Dumping
Open dumpsites found throughout Illinois at the bottom of ravines, in abandoned lots, and along roadsides can threaten the health of humans, wildlife and the environment. If allowed to remain, they often grow larger and attract more dumping by others. Learn how local law enforcement officials and the Illinois EPA deal with this problem and hear from a former "dumper" on the fines and punishment imposed for his actions.

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