From the PERRO archives: early PERRO radio interviews

This has been a long fight, friends! Check out these photos from our archives from 2005 when PERRO members were first alerting the community about the dangers of lead pollution from H. Kramer.

2005 PERRO radio interview with Radio Arte - Teresa Medina, Karen Sheets, Sergio Hernandez

2005 PERRO radio interview with Radio Arte – Teresa Medina, Karen Sheets, Sergio Hernandez

2005 PERRO radio interview with Radio Arte - Teresa Medina, Karen Sheets, Sergio Hernandez

2005 PERRO radio interview with Radio Arte – Teresa Medina, Karen Sheets, Sergio Hernandez

Join PERRO for our April 5th Community Meeting…

PERRO April 5th 2014 Community Forum Flyer Draft - English
Come to a community meeting to discuss…
* Plans to build a metal shredder across from Juarez High School
* The two heliports planned for both the Northwest and Southeast corners of our neighborhood.
* The continued fight to clean up polluted soils throughout the community.

Saturday, April 5th at 2:30pm 

Rudy Lozano Library – 1805 S. Loomis St.

Please let us know you are coming at the following link…

Heliport Hearing 3/20/14 @1pm @City Hall/Come to Speak up Thursday!

On March 20th, 2014  Chicago Helicopter Express (CHE) will proceed to Plan Commission regarding the proposed heliport located at 2420 S. Halsted. To date, Chicago Helicopter Express has held only three community meetings for surrounding neighbors regarding the proposed heliport; however, notice of these meetings was given only days in advance, catching the community off guard and giving them little chance to challenge the claims of Chicago Helicopter Express (CHE)
Please join us to speak up against the Heliport:
Chicago Plan Commission 121 N. LaSalle Street Council Chambers—2nd Floor, City Hall Chicago, Illinois 60602 March 20, 2014 1:00 P.M
At the Plan Commission, you will have the opportunity to speak up to three minutes in opposition to the heliport and/or submit you testimony in writing. We encourage everyone to do both. Please arrive no latter than 1:00 P.M. There is a signup card as soon as you walk into the council chambers .
PERRO and Bridgeport Alliance are organizing a community forum for late April on the heliport.  We have reached out to several experts on environmental issues to examine what might be in store for us.  We asked the Plan Commission to hold off their hearing until May after our community forum but they have not responded.

SUN-TIMES: CTU President Karen Lewis blasts metal shredder site across from Pilsen school

As reported today by the Sun-Times, our thanks go out to CTU President Karen Lewis for her well-placed concern for the health and safety of the children at Juarez H.S. and the community at large posed by the just-approved metal shredder set to arrive just across the street:

CTU President Karen Lewis blasts metal shredder site across from Pilsen school

BY DAN MIHALOPOULOS Staff Reporter February 27, 2014 5:23PM

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis injected herself into a long-running neighborhood zoning fight on Thursday, alleging students at a public high school would face danger from a newly approved metal shredder in Pilsen.

On Friday, a city panel endorsed the plan, which also was backed by Ald. Danny Solis (25th). Lewis said she was concerned because the shredder site is close to Benito Juarez High School.

“That ‘s an environmental hazard for the students and the people who work in that building and should not be tolerated,” she said. “It’s right across the street from Juarez.”

She also pointed out that the Internal Revenue Service last year raided the Bridgeport headquarters of Acme Refining­. That’s at the same address given to city officials by Brett Baron, a 50 percent investor in the Pilsen plant. Baron has said he has no ownership stake in Acme, where he works in the family business. Continue reading

Ald. Solis makes right call on heliport but is wrong on Pure Metals…

Early last week, members of PERRO were pleased to hear that Alderman Daniel Solis had pulled his support for a proposal to build a heliport at Halsted and 24th Street.  PERRO had raised concerns that the heliport had received no community review process and could bring noise and air pollution to the Pilsen community.  On Tuesday, February 18th we found out that the Alderman had issued a letter to Chicago Plan Commission pulling his initial support for the project because of the fact that community had not been consulted.  A planned hearing for the project at the Plan Commission last Thursday, February 20th was subsequently postponed.

However, PERRO was upset to discover Friday that despite previous claims that he had yet to make up his mind on the Pure Metals proposal to build a metal recycling facility across the street from Juarez High School, he is clearly in support of this dangerous project.  Below is a photo of the letter that was delivered by the Alderman’s staff to the City Council at the Zoning Board Hearing on Friday, February 21st expressing his support for Pure Metals.

This is an insult to the dozens of community members who turned out last Friday to express their opposition to the Pure Metals proposal and who waited as long as 10 hours to testify.  The City Council chamber was filled with opponents who numbered so many that in the end they were not all able to testify.  We are very disappointed in the Alderman’s decision on this dangerous new polluter and will continue to work on preventing the project from moving forward.  Stay posted for future developments.

Solis ZBA Letter

Is this what we want next to Juarez High School?…

There are fires at metal shredding facilities around the country at a rate of at least one a month.  Here is another example of the dangers of this industry…

EPA cracks down on Redwood City company polluting San Francisco Bay

By Paul Rogers

POSTED:   01/10/2012 12:04:00 AM PST | UPDATED:   2 YEARS AGO


Click photo to enlarge

Ships bound for the Far East load scrap metal at Sims Metal… (US Environmental Protection Agency)

A Bay Area metals recycling company that drew widespread attention — and a fine — for a fire that sent a huge plume of black, acrid smoke into the air over Silicon Valley five years ago is facing new pollution charges from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA said Monday that it has issued a notice of violation to Sims Metal Management, located at the Port of Redwood City, for polluting San Francisco Bay with lead, mercury, PCBs, copper and zinc. Under the Clean Water Act, Sims could face fines up to $37,500 a day unless it cleans up.

At its 13-acre bay front site in Redwood City, Sims shreds roughly 300,000 automobiles a year, along with appliances and other metal products, and loads the materials via huge conveyor belts onto ships bound for China, Korea and other countries, where they are made into new products.

During inspections last March and in August, EPA officials found high levels of toxic pollutants believed to come from the shredded metal products in the soils and sediment where the facility meets Redwood Creek, a wide body of water that flows into San Francisco Bay. Mercury levels were 110 times the federal government’s protective levels; lead was five times over the levels and copper was 86 times. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, a carcinogenic chemical banned in 1979 and commonly found in older cars and industrial equipment, were found to be at levels 10,000 times the federal government’s acceptable levels for soil.

Federal officials said the pollution at such levels poses a risk to fish, birds and other species in San Francisco Bay.

“The bay has been subjected to a history of pollution, and we are doing our best to clean it up,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s regional administrator in San Francisco. Continue reading

PERRO News Release on Chicago Helicopter Express: Sonic Assault

PERRO’s Co-Release:

Chicago Helicopter Express: Sonic Assault on Chicago’s Near South Side

February 17, 2014

Noise Free America
For immediate release

Jerry Mead Lucero

Ted Rueter

Chapel Hill: Chicago Helicopter Express has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for proposing a $12.5 million helipad, to be located in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago’s Near South Side. The facility would include “helicopter landing and departure pads, a water taxi dock, and observation deck. The company’s helicopters would fly at 1,300 feet and mostly follow flight paths toward Lake Michigan along the nearby expressways.” The facility would serve as a launching pad for chartered flights and aerial tours.

In reality, the proposed heliport would be a sonic assault on the Pilsen neighborhood–which already experiences excessive noise. The Chicago city council recently approved a “vertiport” helicopter facility on a vacant 10-acre lot near Wood Street and 15th Street, close to Stroger Hospital. If the new heliport is approved, the Pilsen neighborhood would be surrounded by helicopter noise. Continue reading

Is this what is coming to Pilsen?…


Last Tuesday, February 11th, a fire broke out at the Rich Metals metal recycling facility in Blue Grass, Iowa.  As a result, a nearby by Elementary school had to be evacuated.  Is this what is in store for Juarez High School if Pure Metals gets its way and builds a metal recycling facility across the street from Juarez?…