Water Quality Task Force

The Water Quality Task Force (the Task Force), established in 2004, is a coalition of environmental nonprofits and legal partners who work to advance the health of the 156-mile Chicago River system.

The Task Force has been key in transforming the health of the Chicago River, leading the charge to improve water quality standards throughout the river system. These standards require additional treatment – such as disinfection (see UV disinfection in photo above) – that are bringing the region closer to a fishable and swimmable river.

The Task Force also convened City of Chicago Departments and impacted community groups to update the City's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

Our water quality milestones provide additional details of our work to advance the protections established under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Current members of the Water Quality Task Force

Albert Ettinger, J.D.

Chelsey Grassfield
Policy Manager, Friends of the Chicago River

Margaret Frisbie
Executive Director, Friends of the Chicago River

Mila Marshall
Clean Water Advocate, Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter

John Quail
Director of Policy and Conservation, Friends of the Chicago River

Matthew Santagata
Regional Planning Manager, Openlands

Cindy Skrukrud, Ph.D.

Mark Templeton
Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, University of Chicago Law School

Rob Weinstock
Director, Environmental Advocacy Center, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Previous collaborators include: Natural Resource Defense Council, Environmental Law and Policy Center, and Prairie Rivers Network.