PERRO Press Release Here.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports this morning here that Chicago’s two coal-fired power plants will close. Victory for the community!
PERRO’s Press Release:
Chicago’s Coal Plants to Retire: Clean Power Coalition, City of Chicago and Midwest Generation Sign Historic Agreement
Chicago, IL — On Wednesday, the Chicago Clean Power Coalition, the City of Chicago, and Midwest Generation, owner of the Fisk and Crawford coal fired power plants reached an agreement that will lead to the retirement of these two plants, the two biggest point source polluters in the City of Chicago. “We have struggled for over a decade to make this happen” said PERRO (Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization) member Dorian Breuer, “It is great to see to see our work finally pay off.” Multiple studies have shown that pollution from the Fisk and Crawford plants is responsible for over 40 premature deaths, hundreds asthma attacks, and over $120 million in health care costs every year. ”I am overcome with emotion! Justice has finally come to those that have died, or whose health has been affected by the pollutants caused by the Fisk plant!” said PERRO member Leila Mendez. “PERRO, and the Pilsen/Little Village community has shown, that when united, we have a voice, and our voice has been heard! We will continue in our fight for the right to breathe clean air in the Pilsen/Little Village community!”
PERRO, along with LVEJO (Little Village Environmental Justice Organization) and the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago started an effort to pass a clean power ordinance in 2002 that would have required the coal plants to clean up or shut down. PERRO went door to door in the Pilsen neighborhood raising awareness of the problem and asking residents to sign petitions to get the ordinance passed. PERRO put a question on the ballot in the 2003 that asked residents if they would like to see the ordinance passed. The question received 90% approval in Pilsen and 86% approval in Little Village. PERRO was even successful at convincing Alderman Daniel Solis to support the ordinance. But the effort to get a Clean Power Ordinance did not get very far until 2010 when a second proposed Chicago Clean Power Ordinance got the support of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition, a coalition representing 50 organizations from across the City of Chicago.
Some are calling this one of the biggest environmental improvement victories in the City of Chicago’s history. But PERRO members realize that there is still more to do. “Fisk and Crawford have been polluting Chicago neighborhoods for over 100 years,” said Jerry Mead-Lucero of PERRO. “Our work is not over when the plants close. Midwest Generation and the City of Chicago must continue working to ensure these sites are properly cleaned up and returned to safe, productive use for our communities.”
PERRO and other members of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition are holding a victory press conference on Thursday where more details of the settlement will be made available.
Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO) | •PHONE: (312) 854-9247 | •EMAIL: email@example.com