Rep. Ann Williams Talks Oil Refineries on ‘Chicago Tonight’

On Monday, January 30, Rep. Ann Williams joined WTTW’s ‘Chicago Tonight’ to discuss a recent report put out by the Environmental Integrity Project on the impacts of oil refineries on the Great Lakes. Speaking with host Paris Schutz and Eric Schaeffer of the Environmental Integrity Project, Rep. Williams dove in to the “concerning” conclusions of the report: 

“I thought the report was really well done and it does seem to me like everything kind of falls into two categories,” said Williams. “First of all, do we need — and it certainly seems like the answer is ‘yes’ — to update our emissions standards for waterways on a federal level, number one? And number two, are we adequately enforcing the regulations that we do have? And that applies at both the state and federal level.”

The group also discussed the role of the federal Environmental Protection Agency in updating the standards of the Clean Water Act for private utility companies. 

“That’s the million dollar question that we need to determine,” said Williams. “The Clean Water Act was developed really with a goal of creating a regulatory scheme that could be updated as technology improved. So every five years the EPA is supposed to go back evaluate new technologies and see if because of the new technologies (they should improve the standards and requirements to keep pollutants out of the water).

That doesn’t seem like that’s what’s happening, even though that’s how the structure was designed.”


Rep. Williams serves as the Chair of the House Energy & Environment Committee, and is committed to protecting our climate and communities. You can see a clip of the interview and read excerpts here. 

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