PI Original Aricka Flowers Wednesday June 8th, 2011, 11:23am

It's Time To Clean Up Chicago's Air (VIDEO)

It's time to pass the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. A new City Council is in place and Rahm Emanuel now occupies the Fifth floor City Hall office designated or the mayor. Now it's time to get to work.

It's time to pass the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. A new City Council is in place and Rahm Emanuel now occupies the Fifth floor City Hall office designated for the mayor. Now it's time to get to work.

 

The public is clearly making their voices heard on the issue as eight protestors scaled the Fisk power plant in Pilsen two weeks ago and are now facing felony charges for the political display against the generator's emissions.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Midwest Generation, which owns the Fisk and Crawford Generating Stations in Pilsen, fought back verbally by telling the Chicago Tribune, "On the substance of what they're doing, we find it kind of ironic with the EPA hearings setting lower mercury standard goals for 2015, we fully support what's going on. In fact, we've been working on lowering mercury emissions since 2008. The hearings call for lowering emissions by 2015, so we're already ahead on that."

The stance of activists and the Pilsen community as well as that of officials at the Fisk and Crawford plants is pretty clear. Now Chicagoans need to know where Mayor Emanuel stands on this landmark legislation that has locked down widespread support across the City Council.

Environmental activists say more must be done about toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants, like the Fisk and Crawford facilities located on Chicago’s near Southwest side. According to the Chicago Clean Power Coalition, here’s why:

  • Studies by the Clean Air Task Force found Fisk and Crawford responsible for over 40 premature deaths each year.
  • Chicago has the highest concentration of people living near coal plants in the nation, and 83% of those living within three miles of Fisk and Crawford are non-white.
  • Pollution from Chicago’s two coal plants has created up to $1 billion in health care costs and related damages over the last 8 years.
  • Particulate matter from these plants impairs visibility and contributes to lung cancer, heart attacks, premature deaths, acute and chronic bronchitis, emergency room visits, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

We've pulled together a video on the ongoing battle at Pilsen's Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants with the help of Heather Stone. Check it out:

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