Water Permit Monitoring

Sierra Club Water Permit Monitoring


Image of Lake Michigan with the Chicago Skyline in the distance



Water permits set standards for what is allowed to be present in a given body of water. The ideal permit sets standards in line with protecting public health and the environment. But this isn’t always the case. From harmful algal blooms to lead in pipes, there are many ways in which we need to clean up our water to protect ourselves and each other. 


Types of permits the Illinois Sierra Club tracks:


How to get involved

We have a small team of volunteers who are dedicated to researching permits. They look to see when new permits are open for public comment, as well as flag permits that could use some further revision or stricter limits. There is often only a small timeline for people to comment on permits that impact their community, so finding new permits promptly is integral in ensuring community voices can weigh in on the issue. Above all, it’s important to emphasize that this is a skill that can be learned - no previous technical experience is required to be part of this work. If it sounds interesting to you, please fill out the form here and be sure to select “Researching water permits”!

  • We’re looking for friendly, trustworthy, and detail-oriented volunteers who are interested in reading a few permits every week and moving important details to a tracking spreadsheet.

  • Volunteers do not need any technical skills in water or permits, but do need to have internet access and be comfortable with using Google Sheets.

  • Time commitment is about 2-3 hours a week and volunteers need to be able to attend a monthly 1 hour team meeting. 

  • We have a preferred commitment of 1 year, with some training sessions at the beginning of volunteering. 


Link back to Nutrients Page



If you’re interested in getting involved, please reach out to Emilee Chaclas (emilee.chaclas@sierraclub.org) and Mila Marshall (mila.marshall@sierraclub.org) to learn more!