For Immediate Release No. 16-OPA001
U.S. EPA holds Jan. 27 Pilsen Open House
(Chicago, Jan. 27) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold an open house on Wednesday, Jan. 27, to discuss upcoming soil sampling in a section of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.
EPA will be asking for permission from property owners to take samples within the residential area bounded by 18th Place to the north, an alley halfway between Allport Street and Racine Avenue to the east, 21st Street to the south, and Loomis Street to the west.
The open house will be in the basement of Holy Trinity Croatian Church, 1850 S. Throop St. The open house is at 5:30 p.m., public meeting at 6:30 p.m. EPA personnel will be on hand to answer questions – in English and Spanish – about soil sampling in the Pilsen Area Soils site.
EPA has been investigating lead contamination in Pilsen since 2011, when the Agency became involved with a cleanup at the former Loewenthal Smelter.
For information and to download the access agreement, visit: www.epa.gov/il/pilsen-area-soil-site.
Reunion comunitaria en Pilsen sobre el Plomo
EL USEPA, (Agencia de Proteccion Ambiental de Estados Unidos) tomara muestras de la tierra para medir el plomo en ciertas areas alredor de la fabrica Kramer que esta por la calle 1345 W. 21st st., demostradas en el imagen. Los estudios serian sin costa al dueno de casa. Si conoce a alguien que vive cercas o al dueno.
PERRO is working with the EPA, the Health Department and the city to put together a community forum on polluted soils in Pilsen. Continue reading Pilsen Underground: Community forum on contaminated soil
In September, after a decade long campaign to close the plants, the Fisk and Crawford coal fired power plants ceased operations. Pilsen and La Vilita residents should see an improvement in coming years of the quality of our air as a result. However, members of both communities asked PERRO and LVEJO (Little Village Environmental Justice Organization) to find out how contaminated the sites are and how that might still effect the surrounding community. PERRO and LVEJO reached out to the EPA to try to get answers to these questions. In response, the EPA has taken a number of steps, including the decision to test air quality near the facilities and to test radiation levels. The idea is to better understand if their is a possibility that contaminated dust or other contaminants are effecting the surrounding community The tests will began the first week of December and continue for a period of weeks if not months. As results become available we will post them here.
The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne has published an excellent front-page article [article on the Tribune’s website, a copy on PERRO’s website] on the delays in addressing a lead-polluted site at 947 W Cullerton and it mentions PERRO’s long-time efforts in the community to address exposure to pollution. Please see the article here or a copy on our site here.
The site has been found to be over 14 times the legal limit for lead in the soil and PERRO recently posted warning signs at the site to attempt to ensure residents stay away from the site. PERRO has also started a web-page with information about the site here: pilsenperro.org/947
Where the article mentions PERRO:
Lead pollution is a well-known problem in Pilsen. In 2005, a year before state inspectors tested the Loewenthal Metals site, a group called the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization collected soil samples from several yards and parks in the neighborhood and found lead levels that far exceeded the federal cleanup standard for residential areas.
On Saturday, PERRO was joined by members of Rising Tide Chicago (RTC) for an action outside the H. Kramer and Company brass smelter located at 1345 West 21st Street, in the heart of the Pilsen community. The rally was held not only to highlight the fact that H. Kramer is the neighborhood’s number one source of lead pollution, but to also draw attention to the fact that while thousands were protesting NATO in Chicago this past weekend, much of H. Kramer’s profits come from its sales to the Defense Department. H. Kramer has been a supplier to the Department of Defense receiving over $8 million in contracts between 2000-2011.
Here is a brief video of the action…
Press Release: Local Groups Protest Deadly Lead Pollution from H. Kramer in Pilsen; Connect H. Kramer to NATO and the G8
Date/Time: Saturday, May 19, 2:30 PM
Event: Press Conference
Location: 1345 W 21st Street
Chicago, IL — Local groups and residents including the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO) gather on Saturday in front of the H. Kramer facility in the heavily polluted Pilsen community to actively protest that company’s decades of deadly lead emissions.
Protesters will demand that H. Kramer clean up its operations and accept conditions PERRO has asked it to follow as part of a 2011 lawsuit by the Illinois Attorney General for violations of lead emissions and improper operation of their pollution control systems. In February of this year, PERRO had a public hearing with the IL AG’s office and IL EPA to inform the community of the status of the litigation and demand a clean up of lead in the neighborhood’s soil. PERRO put together a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) that would have H. Kramer pay for the soil remediation efforts of surrounding homes, public parks, schools and community gardens. The SEP was rejected by H. Kramer.
Continue reading PERRO Protests H. Kramer
Chicago, IL — On Monday, July 26 Jerry Mead-Lucero testified on behalf of PERRO (the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization) in support of the new Lead Ordinance proposed by Alderman Daniel Solis (25th Ward) targeting the city’s lead polluters. “We were not happy with the lack of community process in drafting this ordinance and think it could have been stronger, but we recognize it is a step in the right direction.” PERRO and other Pilsen community groups such as the Pilsen Alliance opposed the original version of the proposed ordinance put forward last April by Solis.
Download the full release here: Press Release Solis Lead Ordinance
Media Coverage of the issue:
The situation with high pollution levels in Pilsen has been making the news quite a lot in recent days thanks to the work of Pilsen youth who marched against pollution (leading an “Anti-Pollution Revolution”) and the U.S. EPA’s announcement that it is proposing that central Pilsen be declaired a non-attainment area for lead (that the lead-air levels exceed legal limits).
Great job to the students in Pilsen, particularly from the Lozano Leadership Academy. Below is some of the media coverage:
Huffington Post | Video at Univision | Vivelohoy | People’s World | Radio Arte | Chicago Current | Chicago Tribune | Audio at WBEZ 91.5FM | Video at NBC News Chicago | Audio and WBBM AM 780 | Chicago Sun-Times | Fox Chicago News