Latino State News
Historic Victory Announced: Chicago Clean Power Coalition Press Conference March 1
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
DATE: Thursday, March 1st
TIME: 10 am
LOCATION: Cermak and May St., Dvorak Park
MORE: Today, Midwest Generation, a subsidiary of Edison International, will announce the retirement of its Fisk and Crawford coal plants, two of the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the nation. The announcement marks a historic victory for a decade-long grassroots campaign to protect Chicago residents from the harmful impacts of coal pollution. According to an agreement signed by Midwest Generation, the Clean Power Coalition, and the City of Chicago, the Fisk coal plant in Pilsen will shut down in 2012 and the Crawford coal plant in Little Village will shut down by 2014.
Background:For over ten years, thousands of Little Village residents have called on government officials and Midwest Generation to shut down the Fisk and Crawford plants. Community organizations in Pilsen and Little Village joined with environmental, health, faith, and labor groups to form the Clean Power Coalition, launching a groundbreaking grassroots campaign to make Chicago a coal-free city. In the last year, thirty five aldermen and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel took on the cause.
The agreement also calls for the creation of a community advisory council to address issues such as the toxicity and future use of the sites. This is a major victory for the residents of the Pilsen and Little Village communities.
“For over ten years our communities have been fighting for the right to breathe clean air, clean land and clean water. Today we are ending over 100 years of pollution for profits and showing the power of community. This fight was more than just about a right to breath, this continues with ensuring the land left behind is properly cleaned to avoid leaving our community with another contaminated piece of industrial land and another struggle for environmental justice in Little Village” says Kimberly Wasserman of LVEJO.
The retirement of Fisk and Crawford will deliver substantial public health benefits. Researchers from the Clean Air Task Force found that pollution from Fisk and Crawford causes 42 premature deaths, 66 heart attacks and 720 asthma attacks each year. One in four Chicagoans live within a three-mile radius of the smokestacks.