Monthly Archives: October 2015

October 14th, 2015

Northerly Island transformed from airport to urban oasis

Twelve years after Mayor Daley shut down Meigs Field in the middle of the night, Northerly Island has been restored to its original purpose: a park-island.  Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago had originally proposed five such park-islands between Jackson Park and Grant Park, but only Northerly Island was every constructed.  First built in 1920, the Island was part of the Century of Progress Exposition in 1933-34.  The city transformed it into an airport in 1947, which it remained until it suddenly closed in 2003.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago Park District collaborated to transform the southern part of Northerly Island into an ecological escape for Chicagoans.  This 43-acre park now includes wetlands, hills, camping grounds, and walking paths allowing the public access to landscape and wildlife.  More than 150 types of native plants will be installed, designed to attract migratory birds and local insect populations.


The total project cost, including feasibility and design phases, construction and construction oversight, is estimated to be $9.5 million, including a federal share of about $6.2 million secured by the Army Corps Great Lakes Fisheries and Environmental Restoration (GLFER) project. The non-federal share of Park District funding is about $3.3 million, consisting entirely of revenue from FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Press Release: “Mayor Emanuel, Senator Durbin, Chicago Park District Celebrate Grand Opening of Northerly Island Restoration Project,” September 4, 2015.

Chicago Tribune: “Northerly Island Park opens Friday on Chicago Lakefront,” September 2, 2015.

October 1st, 2015

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference



The first annual Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference (MECC) will be held October 29-30th at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare and will focus on EPA’s Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and 35 tribes).

MECC events are hosted by state business and manufacturing associations and supported by U.S. EPA and State Agencies. These Midwestern environmental conferences:

  • Provide an insider perspective on key regional issues
  • Offer valuable, up-to-date information on rapidly-changing areas of regulation and law
  • Create a forum for valuable networking with regulators, clients and potential clients/customers
  • Foster meaningful, professional conversation with federal, state and local regulators
  • Deliver great speakers and thought leaders with unique insights, real experience, and a seasoned perspective
  • Provide an environmental “boot camp” training opportunity for those relatively new to environmental compliance and permitting or new to a particular environmental medium


Chicago’s conference will include sessions featuring administrators from U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies, including Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).

Some of the conference sessions will discuss:

  • U.S. EPA Regional Priorities
  • Emerging Water Issues
  • Hot Topics in Remediation and Waste Materials Management
  • Regional Air Issues Roundtable
  • Compliance Auditing

More information, the conference schedule, and registration can be found at mecconference.com.