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Fisk Generating Station
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Sep 20, 2013

Report: Illinois Ranks No. 7 For Dirtiest Power Plants; Plan For Pilsen Coal Plant Sites Still Unknown

A new report ranks Illinois as the seventh dirtiest state when it comes to carbon pollution from its power plants.

The state's power plants are the single biggest source of carbon pollution in Illinois, producing 41 percent of statewide emissions, according to the study issued Wednesday by the Environment Illinois Research and Education Center.

Each year, Illinois' power plants spew as much carbon pollution as 19.6 million cars.

“America's dirtiest power plants are the elephant in the room when it comes to global warming," Environment Illinois Campaign Director Lisa Nikodem said in a statement. "If we want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can't afford to ignore power plants' overwhelming contribution to global warming. For Illinois, tackling the problem means cleaning up the dirtiest power plants.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Thu Jun 6, 2013

Pilsen Residents Continue Push For A Say In What's Next For Polluted Factory Sites

Environmental activists are pushing to stay involved during the remediation and redevelopment of polluted sites on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

Although members of the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO) called it a victory to have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commit to cleanup efforts in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods, the group continues to campaign for community engagement in the area’s revitalization.

The grassroots organization provided project updates and discussed environmentally-friendly initiatives and redevelopment ideas at a public meeting Wednesday.  

“We’ve had several really great successes in the last couple years, Fisk closed down, H. Kramer was forced to clean up their pollution, these kind of things don’t happen without community pressure,” said Jerry Mead-Lucero, organizer for PERRO. “Change requires community pressure, and that’s why it’s so important we keep informing the residents and keep the community involved so we can make good things happen.”

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Wed Mar 20, 2013

EPA Makes Commitment To Clean Up Pollution In Pilsen, Little Village (VIDEO)

There are considerable problems with air and land pollution in Chicago’s Southwest neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village and, at a meeting with community residents last night, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) committed to ongoing cleanup efforts.

Approximately 50 residents at Walsh Elementary School listened Tuesday night as the EPA presented the community with four plans for pollution reduction in their neighborhood.

Read more »

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
Fri Jun 29, 2012

After Hearings, No Plans In Sight For Clean Up Or Reuse Of Coal Plant Sites

With an eye toward the potential shut down of all of its Illinois coal-fired power plants and a possible bankruptcy filing, the February agreement Midwest Generation made with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to close two coal plants on the Southwest Side increasingly looks like a good deal for the company, and not the ideal outcome for residents who live near the facilities.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Jun 27, 2012

Community Members Discuss Future Of Fisk Coal Plant Site With Midwest Generation

Audience members offered a range of ideas at a city hearing last night about what to do with the site currently occupied by the 108 year-old Fisk coal-fired power plant in the Pilsen neighborhood, which closes this September. Some of the ideas included a park, funeral home, public market, trade school, and even a high school sports complex.

But all these visions will be stymied if the Midwest Generation company cannot find a buyer willing to not just build something new but also clean up, or remediate, the site.

“There is a huge marketing job ahead of us,” acknowledged Jean Pogge, CEO of the Delta Institute, the Chicago non-profit in charge of a task force Mayor Rahm Emanuel created to determine the site’s future. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri May 25, 2012

Health Advocates Push For Carbon Emission Standards At Coal Plants

The Environmental Protection Agency held a hearing Thursday regarding the first of its kind limits on carbon dioxide emissions for new power plants.

News of the EPA’s proposed standards for power-plant emissions comes shortly after Midwest Generation announced Chicago’s two infamous coal-fired power plants, Frisk and Crawford, will shut down. Progress Illinois reported last month about Chicago’s power-plant saga.

Double lung-transplant recipient Dan Dolan-Laughlin, 65, is one of many people who planned to speak at the hearing to urge the EPA to follow through with its carbon-regulation proposal.

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Micah Maidenberg
Mon Sep 27, 2010

Turning Up The Heat For Chicago's Clean Power Bill

This morning, environmental advocates in Chicago kicked off a 24-hour vigil outside of 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis' neighborhood office. The protesters are pressuring the city councilman into co-sponsoring legislation -- called the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance -- that would require Midwest Generation's Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants to cut the amount of climate change-causing carbon dioxide they spew by 50 percent and particulate matter by 90 percent over four years. 

Securing Solis as a co-sponsor would mark an important symbolic milestone in the fight for this bill: Solis' ward includes the Fisk plant and the alderman has a deep relationship with Midwest Generation, which opposes the proposed ordinance. According to research compiled by the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO), Solis has accepted 19 donations from the company worth $48,900 since 1999, making them his third most generous contributor over that time period. Midwest Generation spokesman Charley Parnell, himself a member of a Solis political fundraising committee, said the company's executives often get involved in areas where the firm operates and argued the donations have had no outsized impact on Solis. He pointing out that Ald. Rick Munoz (22nd Ward) has thrown his support behind the Clean Power bill and accepted donations from the firm. "Their argument is fundamentally flawed," he said. 

Solis himself was unavailable this morning when PERRO began its vigil and delivered a 1,541-signature petition in support of the bill to his office. But the hand-off did lead to a debate about the Clean Power Ordinance's merits between PERRO member Jerry Mead-Lucero and Maya Solis, a spokesperson for the alderman. Solis insisted that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was better suited to regulate emissions and noted the federal government may regulate carbon emissions. Mead-Lucero and other advocates pushed back against her policy take.

Ald. Solis supported a failed 2002 bill offered by Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward) that would have regulated some emissions coming out of Fisk and Crawford. Environmental campaigners and 25th Ward residents say they plan to keep the pressure on Solis (who's getting pressed on other neighborhood issues as well) until he backs the new ordinance, too. It'll be a stiff battle. The environmentalists will get another chance to make the case to Solis; his spokeswoman promised a meeting today after what Mead-Lucero said was six months of silence from the alderman on the issue.