Plant-covered BIF roof a hub for green research

CHAMPAIGN — A living laboratory atop the University of Illinois Business Instructional Facility is providing scientists with data on how green roofs can help communities better manage storm water.

A 1,200-foot-section of the roof on the fourth floor of the BIF, as it's popularly known, is covered with plants and serves as a field lab for engineering researchers.

Firm tries to find why wind turbine blade broke

ARMSTRONG — The firm that operates the recently built California Ridge Wind Farm in Vermilion and Champaign counties said it is looking into how a wind turbine's blade broke on Tuesday night.

Boil orders lifted

Boil orders for Tuscola, Arcola and the West Prairie Water District have been lifted.

The orders were issued Monday following a break in a water main about five miles north of Tuscola.

Repairs were finished Monday evening and tests have confirmed the water once again is safe.

Updated: Homer board considers separate water requests, but no votes yet

UPDATED 11:14 p.m. Monday.

HOMER – Tinya Konradt lives in rural Fithian on a family farm about three miles from Homer and her well ran dry this summer in the drought. She said that’s never happened before and that’s why she has concerns about 350,000 gallons of water a day being pumped out of the ground in the Homer area and piped to a proposed coal mine in Vermilion County.

Boil order issued for Tuscola, Arcola

Updated 2:25 p.m. Monday.

TUSCOLA -- Tuscola is under a boil order, and repairs have extended the order to Arcola and the West Prairie Water District.

Environmental Almanac: A view of the oldest living thing on campus

One of the perks of my position with the School of Earth, Society and Environment at the University of Illinois is an office in the Natural History Building on Green Street. Unfortunately, we'll all be clearing out for a large-scale renovation to begin within the next year.

Foes oppose smaller water request for coal mine

HOMER — Residents who are opposed to Homer supplying hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated water per day to a proposed coal mine fear that a separate, much smaller request for treated water could give Sunrise Coal an opportunity to use eminent domain to take land for water access to the proposed mine site in Vermilion County.

New education center coming to Kennekuk

DANVILLE — About 17 years after the Vermilion County Conservation District's education staff first suggested building a new outdoor school facility, ground will be broken Sunday at the site of a new environmental education center at Kennekuk County Park.

"We're very excited to finally get the project going," said Ken Konsis, director of the conservation district.

Champaign council shows support for aquifer proposal

CHAMPAIGN — There was no official vote, but city council members on Tuesday generally approved of a proposal to ask the federal government for more stringent protection of the Mahomet Aquifer, a natural underground reservoir that serves as the source of drinking water for roughly 700,000 people across central Illinois.

PBL expects $1 million boost from wind farm

PAXTON — The school district should see a $1 million spike in revenue next year, while homeowners in the district should see a savings on their property tax bills next summer, thanks to the construction of a wind farm near Paxton.