April 14, 2020
“The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) joins our community allies in calling for the City to bring environmental enforcement actions against Hilco on the former Crawford coal plant site. ELPC’s public interest attorneys were key coalition members that worked successfully to close the old Crawford coal plant in order to protect Chicagoans from its pollution. ELPC, in partnership with residents across Chicago, has been monitoring particulate pollution for three years.
“Air quality is especially important when a global respiratory pandemic is underway and the U.S. already has more confirmed cases than anywhere in the world. The recently-released Harvard study shows that long–term exposure to small particulates increases risk of death from Covid-19, so it’s time to stop any non-essential production of such air pollution. Demolitions of smokestacks certainly fit that definition.
“We know that city healthcare workers are focused on the Covid-19 public health crisis. Let’s not allow more situations that both threaten Chicago residents’ health and put more stress on healthcare workers on the front lines caring for patients with Covid-19-related respiratory ailments.
“A one-week deferral is not enough. ELPC is asking the City of Chicago: please stop any demolitions that aren’t essential, whether they involve old smokestacks, old cars and refrigerators, or anything else that can wait until the Covid-19 public health crisis is over.”