PERRO hosts successful public forum with US EPA…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPERRO organized a very successful public forum with Region 5 of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday evening at the Walsh School.  The purpose of the forum was to inform Pilsen residents about several contaminated sites in the Pilsen community which PERRO and the EPA are working together to see are remediated.  Another purpose was to release to the public the results of tests conducted by the EPA over the past several months in the community at PERRO’s urging.

Nearly a hundred residents of the Pilsen community attended the forum.  Tables were set up to provide attendees info on the following sites…

Closed Fisk coal fired power plant: Since the closure of the Fisk plant in September of 2012 following a decade long campaign lead by PERRO in the Pilsen community, PERRO continued to be concerned about on-site contamination and how it might affect neighborhood residents.  PERRO asked the EPA to conduct air and radiation testing around the plants.  The tests did not indicate that on-site pollution was affecting the surrounding community.  PERRO was also able to obtain documentation from Midwest Generation and ComEd, owners of the property with the EPAs help.  Though these documents show the sites have

Lowenthal site:  Testing by the EPA in December at the Lowenthal site, an open field that was once the location of a lead smelter, found the highest levels of lead contamination we have seen in Pilsen.  Anything over 400 ppm of lead is considered of concern.  At the Lowenthal site, near the Walsh School, Growing Station Community Garden, and Casa Maravilla Senior Housing, the EPA found lead at concentrations of 26,000 ppm!  The EPA plans to start remediation of the site in the next couple months.

Soil testing for lead around H. Kramer and Co.:  The consent decree agreed to this month by H. Kramer and Co., the Illinois Attorney General, the US EPA, the Illinois EPA and the US Justice Dept., will result in a drop in pollution coming from H. Kramer to near zero.  But PERRO continues to be concerned about high levels of lead in the soil around H. Kramer.  The US EPA has agreed to test soils a parks, schools and homes in the area for lead and to remediate sites were high levels of lead are found.

22nd Street Manufactured Gas Plant:  This highly contaminated site near Chi-Town Futbol and the Fisk Plant is scheduled for further testing and remediation in the next couple years.

We had excellent media coverage of the event.  The forum was the top news story on both Univision and Telemundo Tuesday night.  For links to some of the media coverage see below.  To see the PowerPoint presentation delivered by the US EPA at the forum see the following link…

http://epa.gov/region5/littlevillagepilsen/pdf/plv-pm-20130319.pdf

For the handouts made available by the EPA at the event, see the following links…

http://www.epa.gov/region5/cleanup/crawfordfisk/pdf/201303-crawfordfisk-fs-en.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/region5/cleanup/loewenthal/pdf/201303-loewenthal-fs.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/Region5/cleanup/22nd/pdfs/22nd-pilsen-fs-2013-3-en.pdf

http://epa.gov/region5/cleanup/pilsenareasoils/pdfs/201303-pilsen-soil-fs.pdf

http://epa.gov/region5/littlevillagepilsen/pdf/plv-fs-201303-en.pdf

http://epa.gov/region5/littlevillagepilsen/pdf/plv-gardening-fs-2013-en.pdf

http://epa.gov/region5/littlevillagepilsen/pdf/plv-yardpb-fs-2013-en.pdf

Media coverage of the forum…

http://univisionchicago.univision.com/videos/video/2013-03-19/encuentran-altos-niveles-de-plomo

http://www.telemundochicago.com/noticias/Mas-areas-verdes-rumbo-a-Pilsen-y-La-Villita-199162491.html

http://www.vivelohoy.com/noticias/8335220/epa-sigue-alta-contaminacion-por-plomo-en-barrio-latino-de-chicago

http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-03/fisk-and-crawford-pass-air-and-radiation-tests-lead-persists-nearby

http://www.progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2013/03/20/epa-makes-commitment-pollution-cleanup-pilsen

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130320/pilsen/lead-testing-start-by-summer-pilsen-little-village

http://www.thegatenewspaper.com/2013/03/epa-requesting-access-to-pilsen-homes-to-test-for-lead/

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