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On the corner of Clifton and Kingsbury, along the North Branch of the Chicago River, sits the 110-year-old General Iron Industries scrap yard.
The controversial scrap shredder has been cited with multiple violations of the Clean Air Act as recently as last week. Inspectors found the scrap yard had failed to contain lung damaging particle matter within the company’s property.
“The U.S. EPA is saying that this site is violating federal air standards and now this same facility is going to move to the Southeast Side, to a community that is already struggling with a lot of industrial pollution concerns,” said Ivan Moreno, Natural Resources Defense Council.
General Iron announced that it will sell its 21-acre site and will vacate in 2020, but its pollution problems are concerning its new neighbors who live near Burley Avenue and 116th Street.
“I live about five blocks away from the proposed move,” said Gina Ramirez.
“It’s also moving across from my old high school. There’s so many pollutant in our neighborhood and just having an additional one is just another worry for my son’s well being.”
“This is a case of environmental racism. This is what happens when the city of Chicago wants to make room for condos and park space, but doesn’t want to lose dirty industry. Where do they put it? They put it in the Southeast Side, they put it in Little Village, they put it in McKinley Park and they put it all over the South Side,” said Kim Wasserman, Executive Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.
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