Home » Chicago, Featured, Headline, Think Tanks, Video

New Lake Michigan “Czar” Has History of Blind Eye Toward Pollution

Chicago Daily Observer 5 June 2009 3 Comments

You remember Cameron Davis don’t you?  He is the president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the “environmental” organization that was napping (for several years now) while the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) has poured billions of gallons of raw sewage into Lake Michigan.  In yet another move to solidify Chicago politicians hold grip on Federal issues, Cameron Davis has been named as a sort of extra-constitutional “Czar” to “clean-up” the Great Lakes.

Sure enough, Lake Michigan Water Quality and Cameron Davis bizarre approach to it, was one of the first issues that the Chicago Daily Observer ever covered, here by Dennis Byrne, questioning what standard, if any, is applied to businesses located near Lake Michigan.  Then, questioned in an open letter by John Powers regarding (one of a string) of massive sewage dumps into Lake Michigan by the MWRD.

To which Davis responded (in non-sequitir) that “for every new measure of pollution per day that BP discharges from Whiting, it commits to knocking off $1 per gallon of gas that same day”, and reminisces about the old days when the MWRD routinely reversed the flow of the Chicago river.  We  suppose that we are supposed to be thankful that the MWRD only dumped Billions of gallons of sewage into Lake Michigan swimming and drinking water last year.

It was responsible of Cameron Davis to answer the Chicago Daily Observer, and we thank him for that.  But the practice of polluting Lake Michigan by politically connected organizations has only increased since that time.  While making a stink about a trivial increase in Lake Michigan dumping at British Petroleum in Whiting, Indiana (echoed by Mayor Daley, Rep. Kirk and Rep Lipinski), Cameron Davis has ignored massive dumping of untreated sewage into Lake Michigan by the unaccountable MWRD.

One might think that environmental organizations would hold all polluters to a set of standards when fighting for clean water.  One might also think that environmental organizations were capable of some basic arithmetic in determining what is a serious problem and what is a pro-forma Left-Wing attack on legitimate business.  But our experience with Chicago politicians shows this to be dead wrong.  Taking Machine politics nationwide was one of the great dangers of electing Barack Obama to executive office.  Appointing run of the mill political actors like Valerie Jarrett, Arne Duncan, and now Cameron Davis takes limited local players onto the national stage, which begs the question…is Congress and the National Press up to the task of checking the Chicagoans?


Chicago Daily Observer

image Loyola Beach, Chicago, closed on multiple occasions due to high bacteria count in 2008


  • Kim said:

    What about the billions of gallons of untreated sewage dumped into the Chicago River by the MWRD? Doesn\’t that deserve the same attention?

  • Marc said:

    So when is the Chicago Daily Observer going to get off its high horse and sue MWRD itself to protect Lake Michigan? I won’t hold my breath since it’s clearly easier for the Observer to criticize others than to do something about real problems.

  • John Powers said:


    I don’t buy your assumption that is easy to criticize others on this issue. If it were so easy, wouldn’t we see come criticism from The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Times, The Chicago Reader, The Daley Administraiton, The Obama Administration……..etc?

    The easy thing to do is to go along with the fiction that our environmentalists give a whit about the environment, send in a $10 donation and tell ourselves we’ve Gone Green.

    The scrutiny of a miserable public entity like the MWRD and the hacks who are supposed to be watching it has to start somewhere, so I am more than happy to let it begin here. Believe it or not, publishing an editorial in the Chicago Daily Observer is not the end of the discussion on many issues. There is quite a bit more to do to coax our political class into responsible behavior.


Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.