|CHICAGO — HILCO, the company responsible for the environmental assault on Little Village last Saturday, misled the city and this community when it sought a permit to take down the former Crawford coal plant tower by implosion.|
“HILCO assured us that the pollution caused by the implosion to take down that tower would not go beyond their property,” 22nd Ward Alderman Michael Rodriguez said. “The leadership of this company has shown an appalling lack of candor and honor.”
“The well-being of ward residents should come first,” he said. “The company should be held fully accountable and should never get the opportunity to mislead us again. What we ask now is for HILCO to restore the community and make it whole. We expected them to uphold their commitments and requirements to keep the community safe and informed–and they didn’t. My goal will be to ensure that every resident, family member, grandparent, parent, child and those living with underlying health conditions, are provided the services and the environmental remediation that they deserve.”
Rodriguez and the City Council Progressive Caucus are calling on the mayor to extend indefinitely the stop-work order she issued for this site, and for the departments of Buildings and Health to enforce a moratorium on all demolitions during COVID-19. Further, they are supporting calls for the inspector general to investigate the city’s internal approval process leading up to the implosion of the Crawford coal plant smoke stack.
Rodriguez and the Progressive Caucus are pushing for:
- Full environmental remediation for residents and the community;
- The city to explore the cancellation of the $19.7 million dollar tax break HILCO received in January 2019, so that the people of Chicago don’t foot the bill for what the company must pay in restitution to the residents of Little Village;
- Legislative action to reform the permitting process in cases like this; and
- A complete review of HILCO’s plan for the site with full consideration of the environmental impact of bringing thousands of diesel trucks into the second most polluted area in all of Illinois;
- Reestablish the Department of Environment and create an advisory committee of community stakeholders on the environment;
- HILCO to meet with Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez and Ald. Mike Rodriguez, and the residents of Pilsen and Little Village on the future of the HILCO developments in these neighborhoods, including the demolition plan for the plants, and to discuss the community-based planning for the future of both sites;
- A complete review of all HILCO properties, permits and intentions in the city of Chicago.
|“We, as a neighborhood, will take a hard look at this entire project,” Rodriguez said. “HILCO has proved itself to be a bad actor and an unsavory neighbor. Our community has had as much of this company’s pollution as we can tolerate.”|
“This Hilco implosion incident has brought to light major shortfalls when it comes to community input and development,” Sigcho-Lopez said. “Community input ensures projects meet the future needs of our community while also ensuring the highest safety standards are upheld. The Pilsen community will expect a robust, community-driven process for the Fisk Power Plant.”
The Progressive Reform Caucus of the Chicago City Council is dedicated to creating a more just and equal Chicago, combating all forms of discrimination, and advancing public policies that offer genuine opportunity to all Chicagoans, especially those who have been left out of our society’s prosperity.
The Progressive Reform Caucus includes Ald. Daniel LaSpata (1); Ald. Sophia King (4); Ald. Leslie Hairston (5); Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer (6); Ald. Susan Sadlowski-Garza (10); Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16); Ald. David Moore (17); Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20); Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22); Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25); Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29); Ald. Rossana Rodriguez (33); Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35); Ald. Felix Cardona, Jr. (31); Ald. Scott Waugespack (32); Ald. Andre Vasquez (40); Ald. Matt Martin (47); Ald. Maria Hadden (49).