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A Chicago Department of Public Health sign warns passersby about hazardous materials at a 67-acre property west of Wolf Lake at 126th Place and Avenue O. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

A 67-acre Southeast Side site served as a dumping ground for Republic Steel for nearly 30 years. Inspection records show the property is contaminated with lead, cyanide, mercury and other potentially harmful pollutants. 

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General Iron Industries is a scrap metal recycling company that has operated along the north branch of the Chicago River near Cortland Street and Clybourn Avenue. (WTTW News)

A longtime scrap metal recycler reaches a deal with the city to close up shop at its location next to the Lincoln Yards site and move operations to the Southeast Side. But not everyone is happy about it.

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General Iron’s scrap metal yard at 1909 N. Clifton Ave. in Lincoln Park. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

New rules for a scrap metal yard on the city’s North Side require the facility to reduce emissions of potentially cancer-causing compounds after it violated federal air pollution standards last summer.

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S.H. Bell’s bulk storage facility along the Calumet River on Chicago’s Southeast Side. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon begin removing up to 2 feet of contaminated soil from as many as 15 homes near a storage facility operated by S.H. Bell, which handles manganese and other industrial materials. 

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A monarch butterfly (Pixnio)

It’s a colorful sign of summer: brightly colored butterflies floating on the wind. From nature museums to forest preserves to beachfront parks, Chicago has plenty of spots to see these beautiful insects. Here are 10 of the best. 

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A Chicago Department of Public Health sign warns passersby about hazardous materials at the 67-acre property west of Wolf Lake at 126th Place and Avenue O. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

Records show the 67-acre site on the Far Southeast Side, used as a dumping ground for more than two decades by Republic Steel, is contaminated with lead, manganese, mercury and other toxins.

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An overhead view of Watco’s storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are among those urging the EPA to take “immediate action” against Southeast Side industrial facilities for emitting potentially harmful levels of brain-damaging manganese dust.

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A Fowler’s toad (Courtesy Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

By tracking the types, frequency and intensity of frog mating calls, experts hope to gauge the success of conservation efforts in an area commonly referred to as the city’s dumping ground. 

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An interactive map shows results from soil sampling conducted near S.H. Bell. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Regulators plan to clean up the soil of several residential yards with high levels of brain-damaging manganese, but they have yet to finalize a plan for addressing homes with elevated levels of lead in the soil.

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A former petcoke storage site near the Calumet River on Chicago's Southeast Side (Terry Evans / Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Photography)

Proposed legislation would require the federal government to examine potential health risks from exposure to petroleum coke, a solid byproduct of the oil refining process that had for years been stored in uncontained piles on the Southeast Side. 

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An overhead view of Watco's storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

Watco Transloading says it will no longer handle materials with high concentrations of manganese, a heavy metal used in steelmaking that can cause brain damage at high exposure levels. 

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An overhead view of Watco's storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

After finding high levels of brain-damaging manganese near Watco Transloading’s facility on the Southeast Side of Chicago, the EPA has accused the company of violating the Clean Air Act. 

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An overhead view of Watco's storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

Watco Transloading faces up to $20,000 in city fines for failing to control emissions of brain-damaging manganese from its storage facility along the Calumet River. 

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An overhead view of Watco's storage terminal at 2926 E. 126th St. in Chicago. (Google)

As regulators continue to monitor manganese emissions at S.H. Bell Co., new air monitoring data shows alarming levels of the brain-damaging heavy metal near another industrial facility in the area.

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A map of the zones included in the EPA’s soil testing on the Southeast Side (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

The ongoing probe into harmful levels of brain-damaging manganese on Chicago’s Southeast Side has turned up another, more familiar neurotoxin: lead.

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(Google Maps)

Soil samples have been collected from more than 100 properties as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to assess the threat posed by brain-damaging manganese emitted from nearby industrial sites.