EPA’s civil rights division investigating why state authorized constructing shredder in Hegewisch

CHICAGO – The US EPA’s Civil Rights Department is investigating why the state approved a shredder in Hegewisch.

The Hegewisch community has long been concerned about pollution and now they are concerned about plans to recycle cars and other products in their neighborhood.

The EPA’s Civil Rights Division is currently investigating why the EPA has approved the Prizker government’s construction of the shredder in a low-income neighborhood along the Calumet River in East 116th. US Housing and Urban Development has addressed complaints from Southeast Side residents about a long pattern of environmental racism.

They accuse the city of helping move the air-polluting shredder from the affluent white Lincoln Park to the predominantly Latin American neighborhood surrounded by black neighborhoods.

“We already have some of the highest COPD cases than any other part of town, higher heart disease rates, and we are also a community that is medically underserved,” said resident Olga Bautista. “I am very concerned that my children are in danger.”

In the fall of 2019, General Iron signed an agreement to stop accepting scrap metal at its location on the north side. The Reserve Management Group, which bought General Iron’s assets, announced the Southeast Side scrap shredder.

In June last year, Pritkzer’s EPA approved a permit for RMG and investigated the effects on air quality.

“It will work with the US EPA and the parties involved in the review of the complaint,” said an Illinois EPA spokeswoman.

“This neighborhood was once the hub of the steel industry and it was a time when people could actually have a job to pay their mortgage and send their kids to college, but those jobs are gone. And because of the zoning that has not changed in 40 years, we are still accepting very dirty practices in this community, ”said Bautista.

WGN News has not yet received a response from RMG.

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