A new report
prepared by the Clean Air Task Force finds that pollution from
coal-fired power plants causes an estimated 347 deaths, 264 hospital
admissions, and 584 heart attacks in the Chicago region annually. With
modern pollution controls, the environmental and health coalition says
the medical problems are largely preventable.
Only two of the 10 facilities operating in the area are equipped with power plant scrubbers. Four enviornmental organizations -- the Sierra Club, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, and the National Resources Defense Council -- have filed suit against one of those plants, the State Line Generating Station in nearby Hammond, Indiana, for repeated violations of the federal Clean Air Act. On this side of the state line, Ald. Joe Moore (49th Ward) and several allies on Chicago's City Council are pushing for an ordinance that would
force coal plant operators within the city limits to reduce emissions
of carbon dioxide by 50 percent and soot-producing particulates by 90
percent within the next four years.