Environmental Justice Commission will meet for the first time Wednesday,
two years after the governor signed a measure to set up the panel.
commission will work to make sure pollution is not disproportionately
impacting low-income and minority Illinois communities. Commission members will communicate
with the governor, lawmakers and state agencies about measures that would help safeguard areas of Illinois affected by pollution.
Members of the panel include Jerry Mead-Lucero with the
Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO), which with
the help of other environmental activists and community groups,
successfully advocated for the shut down of the Crawford and Fisk coal-fired power plant sites on Chicago’s South Side. Kimberly Wasserman Nieto with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), which also helped shut down the plants, will chair the panel.
State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) sponsored the bill to form the panel and will be a member, along with business and industry representatives.
is coming at a time that the economy is rebounding and people want to
rebuild," Hutchinson told the AP. "We want manufacturing and investment
and jobs, but we do not want those jobs to come at any cost."