More than a year after the State of Illinois sold off the abandoned 23-acre Damen Silos property to MAT Limited Partnership, the fate of the silos — a favorite of urban explorers — is still up in the air.
“Any riverfront improvement opportunity should be part of a master plan that recognizes the Chicago River system as the wondrous natural resource it is rather than the uncared for alleyway it used to be,” said Friends of the Chicago River.
The state announced it will enter into exclusive negotiations with MAT Limited Partnership to take over the Damen Silos property. The 23-acre property located along the Chicago River has been vacant for years.
Activists in McKinley Park are calling on the state to postpone the sale and give the community an opportunity to weigh in on the decision.
In a city where air pollution is an environmental justice issue, local grassroots groups are self-installing, funding and monitoring air pollution monitors to understand the specific threats they face and demand change.
Rejected bids included a $500 million offer from MAT Asphalt, which faced strong opposition from environmental justice advocates. The city announced it will issue a revised solicitation for asphalt production in the fall “to better address environmental and public health concerns.”
Environmental activists from the city’s Southwest Side brought their ongoing fight against MAT Asphalt to the North Side front yard of owner Michael Tadin Jr. on Thursday night.
Since 2018, residents of McKinley Park have raised concerns about the MAT Asphalt plant in their neighborhood. Now, several environmental groups say the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue.
An environmental dispute in the Southwest Side neighborhood of McKinley Park has loomed large in the community’s response to the pandemic.
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.