February 13, 2006

A Packed House In Pilsen for Clean Power

Tonight at Dvorak Park fieldhouse in Pilsen, in the shadow of the Fisk power plant, about 150 residents turned out to hear about Illinois EPA's plans to propose new pollution controls for coal plants across Illinois, including the Fisk and Crawford coal plants owned by Midwest Generation.

A mother spoke with her young daughter, who is developmentally disabled, about her fears that living so close to a major mercury source may have harmed her child. Another mother whose 9-month old son already has developed asthma urged her neighbors to join the cleanup campaign. A lifelong community activist pleaded for help in taking legal action against the plants' owners.

State Senator Martin Sandoval, whose district includes the Little Village neighborhood, gave an impassioned statement of support for the Governor's cleanup plan. Illinois EPA gave an overview of the state's plan for developing the rules to implement the plan.

The Governor's cleanup plan is playing well in Pilsen, although some frustrated residents thought giving the plants three years to cut mercury pollution sounded about three years too long.

Nice work by PERRO , the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, and the Little Village Environmental Justice Project, in organizing the hearing and turning out a great crowd.

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