Environmental Justice

Huge WIN for Illinois!

Duckworth Town Hall.png
The UCM Environmental Task Force is addressing issues with the condition of the air in St. Clair and Madison Counties. UCM has confronted the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) about lowering their testing standards for the Veolia Incinerator.
Veolia Environment S.A., branded as Veolia, is a French transitional company with activities in three main service and utility areas traditionally managed by public authorities – water management, waste management, and energy services. They are active in 48 countries. 

The Metro East has been a dumping ground for hazardous waste. United Congregations of Metro East is taking action to end corrupt and unjust practices of foreign and domestic companies polluting the environment. We rely on the Bible verse Titus 1:7 which states that “an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach.” In the UCM press release dated August 21, 2018, we stated that "we call upon the Veolia and the EPA to examine their stewardship of the public trust and strengthen, not weaken, environmental permits for the Metro East. Veolia and the EPA are in collusion to water down regulations that attempt to control the amount of toxins and poisons in our air, soil and water. The results are irreparable damage to the environment, health and lives of the residents of the Metro East." 

UCM held an hearing and action/protest regarding this issue on August 21, 2018 at East St. Louis Higher Education Campus in Illinois. This issue was also presented at UCM's Membership meeting on November 15, 2018 in O'Fallon, Illinois. UCM has been monitoring the actions of the EPA and Veolia regarding this issue and continues to do so.

Nov. 15, 2019: Trump Rolls Back EPA Oversight in Midwest, Favoring Polluters (please click title to view)

April 21, 2020: St. Louis Communities with Polluted Air are More Vulnerable to the Coronavirus (please click title to view)
November 10, 2020: Metro East Residents what to know what the Veolia Incinerator is Burning (please click title to view)
November 26, 2020: Editorial: Incinerating a toxic, indestructible chemical is a formula for disaster (please click title to view)

April 23, 2021 Article in St. Louis Public Radio: Metro East Environmentalists Call For Illinois Lawmakers To Ban Burning Toxic Class Of Chemicals (please click title to view)

View recent Town Hall about Prairie State Coal Plant

Legislators in Illinois have passed a sweeping clean energy bill that was three years in the making. The bill seeks to make Illinois the leading state when it comes to clean energy. It aims to eliminate coal-fired power generation and improve accountability. Highlights include:

  • 100% clean energy by 2050

  • Nearly $700 million to keep nuclear plants online

  • $4,000 electric vehicle rebates

Linda Aud.JPG


Clean Air Saves Lives

Justice Knows No Borders

United Congregations of Metro East (UCM) joined Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU), Sierra Club, Community First Plus, Metro East Green Alliance (MEGA), and Mississippi River Network in a rally on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the McKinley Bridge Roadside Park in Venice, IL. 

The purpose was to bring organizations from both sides of the Mississippi River together to address an issue that effects all of us. 

Read the article:

Air Quality Rally for Environmental Justice 

Prairie State: IL's Biggest Coal Plant, Biggest Polluter, Biggest Boondoggle

This Town Hall was organized to explore why and how Illinois must support a just transition away from the expensive, dirty, Prairie State coal plant.

This event highlighted two recent reports from the Union of Concerned Scientists and Rocky Mountain Institute that examined the environmental and economic impacts of the coal plant, respectively. We also heard from community members whose municipal utilities or rural electric cooperatives are trapped by restrictive contracts, putting them on the hook to pay for the plant no matter how expensive it is.


Our wallets, our lungs, and our climate will be better off if the Illinois’ Prairie State Energy Campus (“PSEC”) coal plant closed by 2030. The Clean Energy Jobs Act provides an avenue for plant closure, while also supporting the communities and workers affected by that transition.