Cook County is the worst neighbor in the country when it comes to smog, according to new data from the EPA. Health-damaging smog can travel hundreds of miles to neighboring counties and states.
In the wake of the decision to reject a permit for a metal shredding and recycling operation on the city’s Southeast Side, environmental justice advocates say now is the time for the city and industrial leaders to work together and find ways to meet the needs of both the community and corporations.
Southside Recycling has long planned a move to the Southwest Side. But last week, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot to conduct an environmental justice assessment in the community before allowing the company to operate.
In recent months, the tension between industry and community has escalated as protests erupted against metal scrapper General Iron’s proposed relocation to the Southeast Side. And while activists say the area has been overburdened with industry, the need for jobs with low barriers to entry is still high.
President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to make combating climate change a central pillar of his administration. And he campaigned on rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new report on air quality shows that while air pollution is a problem across the city, it’s worse in some neighborhoods than others. What her administration is planning to do about it.