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Michael Hawthorne

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  • Feds ordered Chicago to clean up its river: How we found out

    Feds ordered Chicago to clean up its river: How we found out
    The Tribune’s scoop about the Obama administration’s order to clean up the Chicago River came after years of reporting about the urban waterway. Taking multiple trips on the river, reading scores of dry-but-important documents and conducting dozens of interviews made it easier to put the latest story together on deadline Wednesday night.
  • Weekend rain forces stormwater into lake

    Weekend rain forces stormwater into lake
    Recent steady rains forced local officials to dump more than 105 millions gallons of stormwater and raw sewage into Lake Michigan. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District on Sunday opened a sluice gate near the Bahai Temple in Wilmette that separates...

    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,...

    A truly foul, nasty river ran through it

    A truly foul, nasty river  ran through it
    Cleaning up the Chicago River, a waterway engineered to flow backward and lined with dozens of sewage pipes, has always been a tough fight. At the turn of the last century, officials reversed the river and started sending Chicago's waste toward the...

    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...