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Kiana Courtney

Chicago’s environmental inequality runs deep: Southeast Side residents stand up to air pollution

Chicago residents speak out against General Iron, as the metal shredding facility plans to move south.

In a new article in NBC News, Chicago residents speak out against a metal shredding facility’s plans to move from wealthy, white Lincoln Park to the working-class Latino Southeast Side. Decades of pollution have contributed to disproportionate health problems in this industrial community, and neighbors are sick of “being treated as the city’s dumping ground.” They have little faith that new owners can clean up their act after years of pollution violations, explosions, and other problems at the North Side General Iron facility.

ELPC attorney Kiana Courtney drew a link between Chicago’s historic legacies and the environmental inequalities we see today.

“The history with environmental racism goes even deeper, said Kiana Courtney, an attorney with the nonprofit Environmental Law and Policy Center, which has filed public comments against Reserve Management Group’s permit application.

‘Much of Chicago’s zoning for industrial corridors and factory receiving areas overlap, almost identically, with areas that were redlined,’ Courtney said, referring to how federal agencies in the 1930s allowed for discriminatory lending practices that kept Black homebuyers out of certain areas.”

Read the full article here, or read more about this issue here.

Kiana Courtney,

Staff Attorney

Kiana Courtney is a staff attorney at ELPC, working on clean energy and natural resources protection litigation, rulemaking, and policy.

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