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PERRO has just received the welcome news [also repoted by the Chicago Tribune and NPR] of the settlement between H. Kramer and the State of Illinois. H. Kramer is being forced to install new pollution control equipment that we hope will reduce the amount of lead it puts into the air to a very low level. This settlement appears to be the most significant advance in our nine year battle to get these emissions cleaned up.
The months that PERRO members spent meeting with Government officials paid off and we appreciate the efforts of the Illinois EPA, the U.S. EPA, the Illinois Attorney General’s office and the Department of Justice to advocate on the community’s behalf.
From what we can see in the decree – it looks as though the main goal of the negotiators on behalf of the community was to ensure that continued emissions of lead from H. Kramer virtually stops after the new baghouse and filter equipment is installed. If that goal can be accomplished, then this will be a significant victory for the community and a message to other polluters in Chicago and elsewhere that they must follow the law.
PERRO will study the agreement, assist in releasing it to the community and gather and send comments that arise.
PERRO is disappointed that H. Kramer refused to agree to Supplemental Environmental Project ideas that PERRO submitted in late 2011 (available here: http://pilsenperro.org/docs/PERROSEPProposal10262011.doc.pdf) that we believe would have helped with additional efforts to prevent lead exposure by children in Pilsen.