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A surfer rides the waves on the south end of Lake Michigan. (Credit: Mike Killion)

Surfer environmentalists and the University of Chicago intend to sue U.S. Steel over toxic Lake Michigan spills after it twice released more than the allowable quantity of a cancer-causing chemical into the waters this year.

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(Courtesy Little Village Environmental Justice Organization)

Organizers from several Chicago environmental groups are demanding more action from the city to combat air pollution in industrialized neighborhoods as Mayor Rahm Emanuel prepares to host a high-profile summit on climate change.

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U.S. Steel's Gary Works plant (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Records related to an April spill of a toxic metal into a Lake Michigan tributary have not been given to Chicago. The city is now threatening to sue U.S. Steel.

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China’s most prominent environmental activist talks about the country’s pollution crisis.

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Workers from the Environmental Protection Agency respond to an oil spill Oct. 26 at a fork of the Chicago River known as Bubbly Creek. (EPA)

The EPA likely won’t be able to determine the source of a late October oil spill in the Chicago River because the agency was notified about the spill two days after it occurred, the EPA said Tuesday. 

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An overhead view of Watco’s storage terminal in Chicago at 2926 E. 126th St. (Google)

Environmental advocates say a Southeast Side storage company violated city standards for air pollution earlier this year. But the company disagrees, asserting that the state’s more lenient law applies. 

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Two months after becoming the first company approved for fracking in Illinois, Woolsey Operating Company has withdrawn its permit. 

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Workers from the Environmental Protection Agency respond to an oil spill that was reported Oct. 26 at a fork of the Chicago River known as Bubbly Creek. (EPA)

Officials responding to last week’s oil spill in the South Branch of the Chicago River have recovered dead wildlife from the water, including 43 fish and four turtles. The source of the spill is still unknown, according to the EPA. 

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(Trey Ratcliff / Flickr)

After cutbacks at the EPA and skepticism within the Trump administration about climate change, the city of Chicago has made clear its intention to step up efforts to protect the environment.

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Workers from the Environmental Protection Agency respond to an oil spill Oct. 26 at a fork of the Chicago River known as Bubbly Creek. (EPA)

The EPA says the source of an Oct. 26 oil spill remains unknown, but cleanup efforts continue this week along the 1.5-mile stretch of the south fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River.

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An overhead view of Watco's storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

A Southeast Side company tipped off regulators to its own violation of city air pollution standards, documents submitted to the city show. 

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(Jeremy Atherton / Wikimedia Commons)

In an effort to fill a void created by federal and state agencies that have cut back environmental oversight, Chicago plans to expand its environmental enforcement division.

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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is among a handful of legislators behind a bill that would strengthen legal protections for communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and other environmental threats.

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Red-headed woodpeckers collected near the Des Plaines River in Cook County, Ill., in 1901 (top) and in Braidwood, Ill., in 1982 (bottom). (Courtesy of Carl Fuldner and Shane DuBay)

Researchers analyzed 1,000 birds collected over the last 135 years by the Field Museum and other institutions to track the amount of soot in the air of Rust Belt cities. 

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks April 19 after meeting with residents of East Chicago’s lead-contaminated neighborhoods. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

Since 2010, the EPA has cited an East Chicago steelmaking facility six times for violations of the Clean Air Act. Now, a group representing nearby residents intends to sue EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over the renewal of the company’s operating permit.

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Researchers from the University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago will join forces to study the health effects of pollution on local residents, thanks to a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.