Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Alderman From UNO Cuts Deal With Another Toxic Corp.

The potential site for Pure Metal at 2201 S Loomis across the street from Benito Juarez High School on Nov. 29 2013. (The Gate/ Theresa Campagna)
The Alderman from UNO, Danny Solis, has cut a deal with (not so) Pure Metal Recycling Corp. to put another dangerously toxic plant in the Pilsen community. If Ald. Solis, a close ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a founder of charter school scandal-ridden UNO is successful in reining in mounting opposition, the company would be the only indoor recycling plant in the neighborhood, taking up 15 acres of land just across the river from predominantly Mexican Benito Juarez High School, It would also be the second recycling plant in Pilsen next to Sims Metal Management – one of the largest in the area. Students and other residents are threatened by a measurable rise in particle and diesel pollution from the truck traffic around the plant..

Last year, community protests forced the shut down of Fisk, a coal-fired power plant that was emitting health-hazardous contaminants like coal dust into the air and soil in the neighborhood. The Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO) has been organizing neighbors to oppose the plant.

Chicago's slow job recovery has left its black and Latino neighborhoods like Pilsen, particularly vulnerable to assaults by polluting corporations. PERRO is part of a growing movement that includes a huge community protest against the Koch Bros. Petcoke storage facility in southeast Chicago.

But so far, despite some speeches and photo ops aimed at pacifying protesters, the Mayor and Sen. Durbin have done little to take on the Koch. Bros. who are among the world's largest polluters.

Also, check out last week's Tribune commentary, "No Harm in Petcoke" by Jim Watson, Executive Director, Illinois Petrolium Council, claiming that breathing petcoke dust is actually good for us and our children.

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