Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Legislators ask Pritzker to stop General Iron’s move to the South Side from Lincoln Park
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Legislators ask Pritzker to stop General Iron’s move to the South Side from Lincoln Park

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sun-Times

Protesting what they call a discriminatory move that will exasperate respiratory health issues in a polluted community, six state legislators representing Chicago’s South Side are asking Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reject metal shredder General Iron’s planned move from Lincoln Park to the East Side. […]

The June 24 letter was delivered the day before a decision deadline on an environmental permit that would give General Iron the green light to move to a site at South Burley Avenue and 116th Street along the Calumet River. General Iron needs the construction and air-pollution control permit to build the new facility with its partner Reserve Management Group. Community groups have said a draft permit written by the state is weak and doesn’t protect residents from harmful air pollution. After accepting public comments, the agency is expected to rule on a final permit Thursday. […]

Pritzker’s office and the Illinois EPA have said state law limits the power they have to deny or write a permit for General Iron. For instance, numerous citations written by city of Chicago inspectors for violations of pollution and nuisance laws won’t be considered, state officials say. […]

General Iron’s Lincoln Park operation is currently closed after two explosions in May. The decision in 2018 to move from affluent Lincoln Park to the working-class Latino neighborhood is cited by activists as environmental racism. While much of that criticism has been directed at Mayor Lori Lightfoot and predecessor Rahm Emanuel, the lawmakers urged Pritzker to take a stand.

* The letter…

As legislators representing Chicago’s Southeast Side, we’re urging you to call for the denial of General Iron’s application for a construction permit in our community.

We’re troubled by reports of concerns from north side residents over the public health risks posed by the General Iron plant especially in light of their desire to relocate to our community. As you know, residents of the South side are disproportionately affected by respiratory issues due to a variety of factors including pollution. As our community grapples with the COVID crisis, now is not the time to fast track a construction permit to a repeat offender of state and federal environmental regulations.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (“IEPA”) faces a critical decision testing the agency’s commitment to protecting the health and welfare of my constituents: whether to turn a blind eye to the long history of environmental infractions of General Iron in its current Lincoln Park location and grant it a weak, unenforceable permit to move to a recognized environmental justice community, or to make good on the agency’s duty to protect the rights of all Illinois residents to a healthful environment and deny a permit to this repeat offender. The agency’s choice is clear.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has broad authority and a duty to protect the Southeast Side. This authority includes the discretion to deny permits based on historic violations. It also includes the duty to write stringent permits that go beyond the minimum required as necessary to ensure that regulated industry does not “cause or tend to cause air pollution” and so that those who have polluted our environment do not get a free pass to do so again. Furthermore, both Congress and the Illinois Assembly have prohibited IEPA from implementing its duties in ways that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin. IEPA’s own environmental justice policy, moreover, recognizes that the agency “supports the objectives of achieving environmental equity for all of the citizens of Illinois.”

Rather than uphold these duties and commitments, IEPA has proposed to issue a permit that would enable the relocation of a massive metal shredding facility from a White, wealthy and further gentrifying community to an environmental justice community. It is proposing to issue a permit that lacks any meaningful limits on pollution, while essentially leaving this chronic polluter to police itself with respect to virtually the same emission sources that the company has shown time and time again it cannot or will not control. And it is doing so where the applicant’s own air quality modeling shows the potential for violation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

We urge IEPA to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the public health of all Illinoisans by preventing further pollution in Black and Brown communities of Chicago’s Southeast side and deny this permit.

Sincerely,

Senator Robert Peters of the 13th Legislative District
Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. of the 17th Legislative District
Representative Kambium Buckner of the 26th Representative District
Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr. of the 33rd Representative District
Representative Nicholas K. Smith of the 34th Representative
District Representative Curtis J. Tarver, II of the 25th Representative District

       

12 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    Pritzker’s office and the Illinois EPA have said state law limits the power they have to deny or write a permit for General Iron. For instance, numerous citations written by city of Chicago inspectors for violations of pollution and nuisance laws won’t be considered

    Then what in the world DOES the law allow them to take into consideration?

    – MrJM


  2. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    “No injuries were reported in the explosion and fire, and General Iron officials said they are investigating the cause of the blast, “including potential sabotage.”


  3. - SAP - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 4:00 pm:

    Jeez, it’s not like they will emit ethylene oxide. /s


  4. - All this - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Poor General Iron. People want things to be recycled but don’t want the recycling in their back yard.


  5. - Morningstar - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 4:27 pm:

    It might “exasperate” some residents, but I think the Sun Times writer meant to say this move could “exacerbate” health issues.


  6. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    Keep it up and General Iron will forget about moving to the South Side and move further south into Indiana.


  7. - Latina - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 6:42 pm:

    Minorities lives don’t matter to Pritzker, remember ” the least offensive “.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 6:45 pm:

    === Minorities lives don’t matter to Pritzker===

    lol, ok, you go with that.

    Do you feel fetter after typing it, drive-by silly isn’t a position


  9. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 7:37 pm:

    Governors own their decisions.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 7:49 pm:

    === Governors own their decisions.===

    Narrator: no decision has been made.


  11. - Clear Skies - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 8:13 pm:

    I grew up on the East Side. Back then you had 3 steel mills running 24/7 in that area. Now they are worried about this? We survived just fine


  12. - 17% Solution - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 7:28 am:

    ==We survived just fine.==

    Well, you don’t know you won’t get something later. Cancer is sneaky like that.

    The explosions are unfortunate, but aren’t business as usual and might not ever happen again. Alderman Hopkins just doesn’t want General Iron to be there and will use any excuse to push them out.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Not as great as it sounds, but whatevs
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Morning briefing
* Open thread
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller