What are PERRO’s goals?
Advocating for the health and safety of the Pilsen community.
- Informing residents about the health dangers of pollution from all sources in Pilsen.
- Working with the city departments, the EPA, and elected officials at the all levels to develop a solution for reducing pollution and making Pilsen a cleaner place to live, work, and breathe.
- Achieving a significant reduction in pollution from industrial sources in Pilsen.
- Achieving this clean up without causing industrial jobs or business to be lost.
What has PERRO done?
PERRO has performed tests for lead in the blocks around 21st St. and Throop. We found an alarmingly high sample that showed 37,000 parts per million of lead, or 92 times the EPA residential screening level, which is 400 parts per million. We also tested surfaces for lead, and found elevated levels, suggesting that there may be lead in the air. While increased lead levels can result from a variety of factors, including past industrial use (including a lead smelter in the area), leaded gasoline, and lead paint in old housing stock, it is clear that there is a lead problem in Pilsen. Based on PERRO’s findings, the EPA has conducted lead testing in and around the H. Kramer facility, and PERRO awaits those results and the opportunity to meet with the EPA about how to address the situation. PERRO was recently invited to join the newly formed Environmental Justice advisory group of the Illinois EPA.