General Iron’s metal-shredding operation in Lincoln Park. (WTTW News)

City officials agreed Friday to conduct an environmental justice assessment of the proposed shredding operation before issuing the final permit the facility needs to start operating. 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, speaks at Guilford Technical Community College, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Jamestown, N.C., about the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

In the first Biden administration rule aimed at combating climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to phase down production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

Protesters gather near the Logan Square home of Mayor Lori Lightfoot to voice their opposition to General Iron’s plans to move to the Southeast Side on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (Annemarie Mannion / WTTW News)

Convening outside a church just down the street from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s North Side home, residents of the Southeast Side voiced their opposition to a metal shredding and recycling operation in their neighborhood.

Lead and arsenic were discovered in the soil beneath the Hegewisch Little League field. (Google Streetview photo)

The EPA has completed cleanup of the Hegewisch Little League Field after discovering alarming levels of lead and arsenic in the soil. 

General Iron's Lincoln Park facility. (WTTW News)
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Opponents of the Lincoln Park metal shredder want General Iron closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but if the facility checks all the right boxes, it could eventually restart operations, officials said. 

According to preliminary findings from the EPA, manganese has been found in the soil at Hegewisch Babe Ruth Field. (Hegewisch Babe Ruth / Facebook)

After finding arsenic and lead in the soil at the Hegewisch Little League Field, the EPA tested a second a ball diamond in the neighborhood and found manganese. “We fight for every breath we take here,” said one resident.

Lead and arsenic were discovered in the soil beneath the Hegewisch Little League field. (Google Streetview photo)

The EPA began cleaning up the site this week, stating the hazardous substances found in the soil posed an “imminent and substantial endangerment” to “public health, welfare, and the environment.”

General Iron’s metal-shredding operation in Lincoln Park. (WTTW News)

Five weeks after two explosions rattled General Iron, city officials allowed the North Side metal recycler to partially reopen June 24 — but its shredding facility remains shut down as investigations continue into the May 18 blasts.

General Iron is planning to move its metal shredding operation from Lincoln Park to the Southeast Side. (WTTW News)

Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza is joining the chorus of 10th Ward neighbors calling for the Illinois EPA to delay consideration of General Iron’s permit to move from Lincoln Park to the Southeast Side. 

Southeast Side residents protested in 2018 in front of General Iron’s scrap metal yard in Lincoln Park. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

Neighbors unanimously spoke out Thursday against General Iron’s application for a permit to move its Lincoln Park metal shredding operation to the Southeast Side, but questioned whether their concerns would even count.

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

The Illinois EPA will hold a virtual hearing Thursday to determine whether it should issue a permit allowing General Iron to operate on the city's Southeast Side. 

Relaxed EPA enforcement is a license to pollute, environmentalists say. (mvpdv0ra / Flickr)

Environmental organizations have petitioned the EPA to establish rules requiring companies to minimally disclose to the public that they’ve stopped monitoring and reporting pollution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Environmentalists are seething over the EPA temporarily relaxing enforcement rules. (mvpdv0ra / Flickr)

The EPA is relaxing enforcement of “environmental legal obligations” during the coronavirus pandemic, and activists are seething.

McKinley Park residents are fighting against an asphalt plant located in the midst of parks, schools and homes. (Neighbors For Environmental Justice / Facebook)

Southwest Side residents are mobilizing to pump the brakes on MAT Asphalt’s application for a 10-year permit from the Illinois EPA, and say they don’t trust the agency to put people over profit.

(Frank McNamara / Flickr)

In 2003, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency had 1,265 employees. By 2018, that number had fallen to 639, according to a new report that a former IEPA director describes as “both a wake-up call and call to action.”

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.