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The Mechanics
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Environment/Sustainability Fri Sep 04 2009

Environmental Lawsuit Targets City Power Plants

crawford_outside.jpgMechanics took a Toxic Tour in the spring to learn about the factories that have been polluting Little Village for years. While environmental groups have been fighting to spread the word about the plants' dangers, little has been done to ensure environmental standards are being upheld, especially at the older plants that date back to the early twentieth century.

Looks like there might be some good news on the horizon.

The Tribune's environmental reporter Michael Hawthorne writes that a lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court. Hawthorne reports:

By steadily replacing worn out equipment, a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges, owner Midwest Generation kept Fisk and five other power plants operating well past the time when they otherwise would have been closed. The noxious smoke churning out of the plants makes them some of the biggest contributors to dirty air in the Chicago area, according to federal records.


According to Hawthorne, the lawsuit mentions two plants owned by Midwest Generation -- the Fisk Generating Station in Pilsen and the Crawford plant in Little Village (pictured above) -- as well as plants in Joliet, Romeoville, Waukegan and Pekin.

The lawsuit is a long-time coming for those at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). The organization has been trying to spread the word about the plants, which release pollutants such as mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, for years. The pollutants, they argue (back-upped by scientific reports), contribute to the neighborhood's asthma problems, as well as premature deaths.

Keep updated at LVEJO's Clean Power blog.

 
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