Chicago recently began a pilot program allowing electric scooters on city streets. Within a mere six days, at least ten couple-4244576_1920-204x300people were sent to emergency rooms, including one bicyclist who was left unconscious and badly injured after being struck by a scooter.

The city’s e-scooter program launched June 15th on the west side of Chicago, bringing 2500 scooters to Chicago streets. Ten scooter companies—Bird, Lyme, Jump, Sherpa, Gruv, Lyft, Spin, Wheels, Bolt and VeoRide– are providing the scooters for the next few months. In October, the city will evaluate the program and decide whether to permit the scooters permanently and whether to expand into the lakefront area and the Loop, the city’s busiest traffic and pedestrian areas. I can just imagine the nightmare of inexperienced or potentially intoxicated riders zipping around on electric scooters in Chicago’s already chaotic Loop.

Chicago might do well to heed the experiences of other cities who have tried out e-scooter programs. Hospitals in these cities have noted frequent, serious scooter injuries, and police forces have admitted that enforcing the rules is difficult. Scooter riders often ride without helmets; endanger pedestrians by riding on sidewalks despite it being against city ordinances, and litter the streets with abandoned scooters.

Throughout Naperville, there are miles and miles of trails and bike paths, perfect for a cruise on a summer day or training for your next triathlon.  While many of Naperville’s bike paths are located within forest preserves or secluded trails, some of them cross over major roadways and through busy intersections.bicyclist-569279_1920-1024x692

As the city grows, so does the amount of traffic, and, unfortunately, with that growth comes an increase in bicycle crashes. Naperville police report there are between 20-40 crashes involving automobiles and bicycles in the city on an annual basis. Many of these crashes occur in just five of the most dangerous intersections in Naperville. These intersections have seen at least two crashes per year for the last three years.

According to Naperville Police data, the five most dangerous intersections for bicyclists are:

EPA’s Air Pollution Chief, Bill Wehrum, recently announced his plans to resign. This announcement comes just two months after the sam-bark-R1GWSOJ9cng-unsplash-300x200House Committee on Energy & Commerce started investigating him for potential federal ethics rules violations. Wehrum’s conduct came into question when Wehrum allegedly provided conflicting information to Congress about his ties to his old law firm and the Utility Air Regulatory Group, a lobbyist group that fights Clean Air Act regulations.

Before joining EPA, Wehrum worked as a lawyer and lobbyist for power companies seeking to scale back air pollution rules. His client list included the Utility Air Regulatory Group. In his position at EPA, Wehrum met with some of the Utility Air Regulatory Group’s members, which might be a violation of the federal ethics rules that require that he recuse himself if they were his former clients. Given his “industry first” attitude that has loosened air pollution rules, it’s not a surprise that people question Wehrum’s motives.

Wehrum’s departure is definitely something to celebrate. He looked out for industry to the detriment of human health and the environment by wreaking havoc on environmental regulations. During his one and a half years at EPA, Wehrum championed industry, rolling back the Obama Administration’s farthest-reaching air policies. Most recently, he finalized the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule, which helps the coal industry by reducing carbon emissions by less than half of what experts say is necessary to avoid a climate change catastrophe. Wehrum also played a role in relaxing tailpipe emission standards and changing how EPA measures the health effects of air pollution. In the Chicago-area, he showed a complete disregard for the health of communities affected by ethylene oxide emissions from Sterigenics by agreeing that it is possible for Sterigenics to reopen if they implement stricter pollution controls. It’s certainly not a shame to see Wehrum leave!

When you think about what’s in your makeup bag, you probably think foundation, mascara, eyeliner, etc. But let’s make-up-1209798_1920-1024x700delve a little deeper. What ingredients are in your makeup bag? The answer may surprise you.

Since 2009, 595 cosmetics manufacturers have disclosed that they’ve used 88 chemicals that are connected to cancer, birth defects, and/or reproductive harm in over 73,000 products. How is this possible? The answer lies in the fact that the beauty industry is virtually unregulated, so manufacturers are free to use chemicals in their products without any meaningful government oversight.

Though most chemicals are not causes for concern, some chemicals in cosmetics have been linked to serious health problems. For example, diethylhexyl phthalate harms the reproductive system, can affect a developing fetus and is a potential endocrine disruptor. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has also classified it as a possible carcinogenic. Where can you find it? Eyelash glue. Dibutyl phthalate, a similar chemical with similar health effects, can be found in perfumes and nail polishes.

Senators Reveal Names of 22 Illinois Nursing Homes with Seriously Poor Care

Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult, heartbreaking and confusing decision. As nursing home attorneys, we see why thisaging-2379003_1920-1024x819 can be so painful for families. They want the best care for their loved one, but often don’t know how to distinguish between great facilities and ones that may be dangerous for their family member.

Two Pennsylvania Senators recently made that job a little bit easier.

On June 12, 2019, attorney Maggie Galka and law clerk Dayna Smith attended a seminar hosted by the U.S. District girl-690327_1920-285x300Court for the Northern District of Illinois entitled “Helping Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Seek Justice.” They heard from the Honorable Ruben Castillo, Chief Judge, and staff attorneys from Ascend Justice and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE). The speakers focused on how attorneys from various fields could help individuals impacted by gender-based violence access client-defined justice. Client-defined justice can take many forms such as criminal punishment, civil remedies, or simply having someone there to advocate on the client’s behalf.

Ascend Justice (previously the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic) operates two clinic programs that focus on achieving their mission to “empower individuals and families impacted by gender-based violence or the child welfare system to achieve safety and stability through holistic legal advocacy and systematic reform.” Ascend’s Domestic Violence Division Pro Bono Project pairs volunteer attorneys with domestic violence survivors seeking Orders of Protection. The volunteer attorney takes on the client’s entire case, representing them until the matter is completely resolved, which can involve multiple court appearances. In the Emergency OP Clinic Volunteer Project, legal professionals and law students provide brief services for litigants, which include helping them draft pleadings and affidavits and explaining the court process. The staff attorneys noted that individuals with help or representation from an attorney were significantly more likely to receive an Order of Protection than those who did not have representation.

CAASE focuses its services on survivors of sexual exploitation, including sexual assault and the commercial sex trade. Its mission is to address “the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation.” Their work includes prevention, policy reform, legal services, and community engagement. In the legal services section, CAASE staff attorneys and volunteers work in a variety of legal fields to achieve client-centered justice for survivors. Those legal fields can include criminal law, civil no-contact orders, workplace complaints, civil personal injury law, and criminal record expungement. And, because of CAASE’s policy initiatives, the variety of legal and administrative avenues available to survivors continues to grow.

Starting July 1st, Illinois is taking a tougher stance on motorists who use their cell phones while driving.

Drivers will no longer get a free pass for their first offense. melissa-mjoen-399641-unsplash-300x200Unlike the current law, where a first offense is a non-moving violation which does not affect your driving record, under the new law, you will get you a ticket for a moving violation if you are caught using a hand-held cell phone for any reason, even if it’s your first time. The ticket will have a fine of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $125 for a third, however, this does not include fees and costs which can make the total much higher. Receiving three tickets in a 12 month period will mean a license suspension.

According to the new law, you are only allowed to push one button to activate GPS or answer or make a call. So, unless you are using technology such as Bluetooth to access your phone hands-free, the following offenses will get you a ticket:

It started with a letter to Congress.

Seven past EPA chiefs, appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents, wrote to Congress in April. They were concerned aboutUS-EPA-1-300x300 the direction of the current EPA and offered to help Congress use its oversight to put a halt to Trump’s misguided deregulatory push and the dismissal of science in favor of politics at the agency.

The seven EPA leaders signing the letter had served under Obama, Reagan, and both Bushes, so the current administration could not blame the letter on partisan politics.

The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a time for sun, fun, and vacation for many. Summer is here, and while this is a great timeadult-1866883_1920-3-300x225 for families to take it easy, it is not time for parents to relax when it comes to keeping their kids safe. In fact, the AAA Foundation refers to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer because, on average, two teenagers die every day during these 100 days – an increase of 26% compared to other months of the year.  Car crashes are the leading cause of death for these teenagers, who also have the highest crash rate for any age group.

According to statistics, the primary cause of these deadly car crashes is distracted driving, which accounts for 60% of all teen crashes. And teens report that distracted driving involves more than just cell phones. In fact, the top distraction for teens—accounting for 15% of all crashes— is passengers distracting the driver. Cell phones are the second biggest distraction, causing 12% of all teen-related crashes.

Other than distracted driving, impaired driving and a failure to follow the rules of the road also account for a large percentage of teen crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

Starting in 1984, the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook, IL consistently emitted a chemical known as ethylene oxide into the air. These air emissions continued until February 15, 2019 when Illinois EPA ordered Sterigenics to stop operating because it found that Sterigenics’ emissions posed a danger to public health.

Ethylene oxide is a colorless, flammable, gas which Sterigenics uses to sterilize medical and other equipment. In the summer of 2018, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a branch of the CDC), alerted the Willowbrook community that there is an elevated cancer risk for residents and those who work in the community near the Sterigenics plant. Using air samples taken by EPA in commercial and residential areas within a mile of the plant, ATSDR estimated that Sterigenics’ ethylene oxide emissions were making nearby residents 64 times more likely to get cancer.

On May 29, 2019 U.S. EPA hosted an Open House and Community Meeting to provide an update on its work to better understand the ethylene oxide emissions from the Sterigenics facility. At the meeting, U.S. EPA updated the community on the air testing it conducted over 49 days between mid-November 2018 and the end of March 2019. The Agency tested the air at 8 locations within a couple miles of the facility for ethylene oxide. The graph below shows that the levels of ethylene oxide that U.S. EPA found in the air while the plant was still operating dropped significantly after the plant was forced to close. This drop in emissions led U.S. EPA to conclude that the facility is responsible for a significant amount of the ethylene oxide detected.

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