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Michael Hawthorne

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  • Higher levels of flame retardants found in minority children

    Black and Latino toddlers may have significantly higher levels of toxic flame retardants in their bodies than white children, according to a new study that challenges one of industry's chief arguments for expanding use of the chemicals.
  • On Lake Michigan, a coal-burning steamship gets a pass

    On Lake Michigan, a coal-burning steamship gets a pass
    — Built in the 1950s for the brawny task of ferrying railroad cars, the last coal-burning steamship on the Great Lakes is billed today as a nostalgic vacation shortcut between Wisconsin and Michigan. But every day it sails between this old...

    Air pollution: Chicago-area coal plant to shut down earlier than expected

    Air pollution: Chicago-area coal plant to shut down earlier than expected
    After deciding it isn't worth cleaning up one of the nation's dirtiest power plants, the owners of an aging coal-burner along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan are shutting it down sooner than expected. In its latest financial documents, Virginia-...

    Legal settlement to force completion of Deep Tunnel

    Legal settlement to force completion of Deep Tunnel
    Federal and state authorities today unveiled a legal settlement intended to finally complete the Deep Tunnel, the Chicago region’s massive flood- and pollution-control project. Relief from swamped basements and sewage overflows still is years away,...

    Metra will clear the air in its train cars

    Metra will clear the air in its train cars
    Metra appears to have found a way to dramatically clean up the air inside its stainless-steel cars, but spikes of lung- and heart-damaging diesel pollution will remain a lingering problem on the platforms at Chicago's major rail stations. In response...