CHICAGO (www.nbc33.com) - A high-ranking Illinois senator bashed Fort Wayne again Tuesday, taking the Summit City to task over its sewage pollution.
Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was holding a forum with U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, R-3rd District, Illinois, and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-14th District, Illinois, at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago when he referred to Fort Wayne as an example of a "bad guy" that has increased pollution on the Great Lakes.
Kirk says Fort Wayne is dumping more than 29,000 gallons of sewage per capita into the rivers.
"They didn't reverse so a tremendous flow coming from their area," Kirk said of City of Fort Wayne officials. "I count the rivers against them, because they dump into them; and that means pollution is getting into the lake.
In June, Kirk's office released a YouTube video titled, The Dirty Dozen, calling out 12 Midwestern cities considered the worst sewage polluters in the region. Fort Wayne was one of the 12, dumping 75 million gallons of sewage into the tributaries of Lake Erie, the video reports.
The Dirty Dozen Video from Sen. Kirk's Office
"This pollution poses serious risks to public health," the video charges. "And is the leading cause for the thousands of annual beach closings and swim bans that occur in more than 1,000 fresh water beaches across the Great Lakes."
Officials with Mayor Tom Henry, D-Fort Wayne's, office say they are aware of Kirk's accusations, but would not address the senator's comments made Tuesday.
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