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Lipinski Urges the Army Corps to Start Bubbly Creek Restoration Project

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to begin restoration work on Bubbly Creek in Chicago as soon as possible.  The planned restoration project on the creek, officially known as the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River, has been on hold since 2015, pending completion of remediation work under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  According to EPA personnel, the relevant cleanups were completed in October of last year, clearing the way for work on the USACE restoration project to restart.  However, as of this January, the restoration project remains on hold.

“On October 25th of last year, an oil spill was discovered in Bubbly Creek, causing damage to the environment and wildlife, and prompting a two-week cleanup effort, led by the EPA, at taxpayer expense,” stated Rep. Lipinski in letters to the USACE and EPA.  “Because the source of the oil is unknown, it is difficult to know how to prevent similar events in the future.  I believe that our federal agencies should be good stewards of Chicago’s unique natural environment, thus I would like to ensure that we are taking every feasible action to restore the creek to an ecologically healthy state.  I believe that some of the work planned for Bubbly Creek may help prevent or mitigate future oil spills and other pollution of the creek.”

In an effort to restart restoration work and facilitate information sharing between the USACE and EPA, Congressman Lipinski is proposing a meeting in Chicago that brings both organizations to the table for a conversation that will help identify a promising path forward for Bubbly Creek.