CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that it has denied RMG/General Iron’s operating permit bringing an end to a years-long struggle between Southeast Side residents and the massive metal shredding operation that sought to relocate from Lincoln Park to a majority Latinx neighborhood.
Advocates for the Southeast Side maintain that while this is an enormous victory for the community and for the fight against environmental racism, the City of Chicago must be dedicated to policies that prevent a situation like this from happening in environmental justice communities. Southeast Side residents will proceed with their previously announced rally at City Hall today, as a way to celebrate, but also bring awareness to the need for significant reform.
The following is a statement from the Southeast Environmental Task Force, People for Community Recovery, the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), UN10 (United Neighbors for the 10th Ward, Southeast Side Youth Alliance, Southeast Side Educators for Environmental Justice, Collaborative for Health Equity Cook County, Bridges Puentes, Alliance for the Southeast (ASE), GWHS Student Voice Committee, Poor People's Campaign:
“Our community is not a sacrifice zone. This decision can be a turning point for communities of color that have been hurt by environmental racism for decades. Although we are celebrating this decision, the community continues to deal with the toxic legacy that has allowed pollution to accumulate in our community and we will not stop fighting for our right to clean air. We will continue to fight until Chicago communities like ours can live in a healthy environment.”
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.