2008 Accomplishments

Clean Water

Reduced pollution from sewage treatment plants – We negotiated lower pollution levels from five treatment plants, with negotiations underway for several more. Because of our positive track record, polluters often seek our input before applying for permits to discuss alternatives to higher pollution levels.

Held agencies and coal companies accountable – PRN has seen a rapid increase in new coal mining permits proposing to use longwall mining techniques which can be particularly damaging to rivers and wetlands. Despite limited public review due to a fragmented regulatory framework, we have been able to improve permit requirements for four mines, and are poised to appeal two more permits if clean water and habitat issues are not addressed.

Habitat and Natural Stream Flows

Protected headwater streams from ill-conceived drainage projects – Please see article on page 5 about our support of landowners in a successful challenge to the Upper Salt Fork Drainage District’s vague plans for “maintenance” of the Salt Fork of the Vermilion River.

River Awareness and Stewardship

Helped local groups protect rivers and riverside habitat – With funding from EPA, we created and distributed a survey, the first of its kind, to over 11,000 individuals and groups working to protect Illinois waterways. Our analysis of the survey results, plus discussion at a follow-up workshop will be the starting point for a new two-year effort to provide training and support to address identified needs.

Trained Piasa Palisades Stormwater Team – As a result of training from PRN and Sierra Club, the Sierra Club Piasa Palisades group (Madison County) has formed an active construction site monitoring team and is reporting illegal pollution to government staff.

Organizational Capacity

Planned and improved PRN outreach materials – With a very generous donation of design services from Royse Wagner, Inc., we have been able to develop a beautiful new Web site and outreach materials. These will help us better tell our stories and reach new potential partners and members.