Coal Clunkers Closing: Public Pressure Finally Shutters Chicago’s Notorious Fisk and Crawford Plants

Coalition Succeeds in Ending Long Standing Health and Climate Threat

CHICAGO (February 29, 2012) – A deal this morning to close the Fisk and Crawford Generating Stations in Chicago brings a final chapter to one of the nation’s most noted environmental justice stories. The two nearly century-old coal plants have been magnets of controversy for decades because they lack many basic modern pollution controls despite sitting in the midst of some of the city’s densest neighborhoods. The closure stands as a significant victory for the Clean Power Coalition, a large group of community, health and environmental groups that have long been pushing for closure of Chicago’s dangerous coal plants.

With membership in the Clean Power Coalition and active litigation against Fisk and Crawford, the Natural Resources Defense Council has been engaged in the push to mothball Chicago’s coal plants. More information on the closure is available from the Chicago Clean Power Coalition at

Following is a statement from Henry Henderson, director of NRDC’s Midwest Program and the first Commissioner of the Environment for the City of Chicago:

“The Washington Post had it right when the paper called Fisk and Crawford ‘coal clunkers.’ Their smokestacks stood as innovative technology at the last turn of the century, but long ago became unacceptable blots on Chicago’s skyline.

“Residents in Pilsen and Little Village, who have long been subsidizing Midwest Generation with their lungs and health, have won the battle to take their neighborhoods back. And as the company finally does right for its neighbors, I hope it will do right by the workers impacted by the decision in a more timely fashion.

“For decades, we have known that these plants were anachronisms, dangerous throw-backs that were fouling Chicago’s air even as the electricity they produced was exported out of state. They don’t power Chicago and now they will not pollute Chicago either. That is good news.”