Emanuel weighs in on Chicago River cleanup

May 14, 2011 3:41:23 PM PDT
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Illinois to make stretches of the river clean enough for recreational use, including swimming, earlier this week.

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel called the river "Chicago's backyard" and like the lakefront, it should be cared for. He'd like to see it clean enough for boating and kayaking but suggested that swimming might not be possible.

Terrance O'Brien, the president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, says it would be a waste of money in the current economic climate to make the river safe for swimming.

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