Pilsen neighbors gather to protest air pollution, operations of scrap metal shredder

CHICAGO (CBS)  Dozens crammed church pews within the Pilsen neighborhood Thursday night time to protest air air pollution within the space.

They met at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 2172 W. twenty second Pl., to demand that close by Sims Metal Management – a scrap metal shredding company – both clear up their operations or transfer out.

The company is searching for state and metropolis approvals to hold working. But final year, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered Sims was emitting excessive ranges of air pollution and required it to decrease them – pending these permits.

“It makes me mad when I found out that we are not breathing the same air that North Siders are breathing, or that other communities are breathing, or you know, in other places, they’re breathing – and that all these companies are siting in our neighborhood,” stated Pilsen resident Ana Gonzales.

The EPA final year discovered Sims was emitting excessive ranges of chemical substances known as risky natural materials – which may trigger respiratory points in individuals, stated Illinois EPA Director John Kim.

“There is a requirement in state regulation, which is included in the permit, that they have to reduce it by at least 8 percent – and they were not reducing it by that amount,” Kim stated.

The EPA stated Sims, 2500 S. Paulina St., has began monitoring its emission ranges.

“We actually believe they will be reduced way past that required level,” Kim stated.

However, residents need the company shut down altogether – citing what they name an environmental injustice.

“The same factories and polluters that were on the North Side – they were closed down and allowed to open up here,” stated Pilsen activist Emma Lozano.

“I want them gone. They can find someplace else,” added Gonzales, “someplace else where there’s not a lot of people so they can do what they need to do.”

We did attain out to the company and have been ready to hear again late Thursday.

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